Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I'm reading a report by my physical therapist about my shoulder rehab program. It mentions working on regaining joint proprioception. What is this?


In simple terms, joint proprioception means joint position sense. In other words, where is the joint in relation to the body?

Proprioception is really more complex than just one function. Besides joint position, proprioception also helps the joint tell how fast it's moving and in what direction. There's also an ability to sense resistance to the muscles around the joint.

Active motion (you move your arm) and passive motion (someone else moves your arm) are two separate types of joint position sense. Kinesthesia is also a part of proprioception. This is the ability to feel the joint position as you move through space.

Being able to match one arm's movements to the other, called movement replication, is another form of proprioception.

Wolfgang Pötzl, MD, et al. Proprioception of the Shoulder Joint after Surgical Repair for Instability: A Long-term Follow-up Study. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. January/February 2004. Vol. 32. No. 1. Pp. 425-430.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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