Master of Science (MSc)
Faculty of Science
Dr. Pamela Bryden
Joint position sense provides the body with information about where limb segments are relative to one another in three-dimensional space. The ability to utilize this sense is imperative for smooth, coordinated, and accurate movement in everything from activities of daily living to competitive sport (Ghez & Sainburg, 1995). Researchers currently use joint position sense as a measure of proprioceptive acuity. However, limited research has investigated the influence of potential confounding factors on proprioception. Specifically, literature on how joint-site specificity and lateral preference influence proprioception displays several incongruent findings. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was (1) to determine if joint-site influences proprioception across the body; (2) to determine whether joint position sense depends upon limb preference; and (3) to determine if direction of movement during active joint repositioning influences proprioceptive error. Joint position sense was measured bilaterally in 55 healthy right-handed young adults at the elbows, wrists, knees, and ankles using active-active joint repositioning with a Vernier© goniometer. The results showed that each joint-site does in fact have different joint position sense acuity. No significant differences were found between the left and right side in any of the measured joints, although the elbows and wrists displayed trends of making smaller errors with the non-preferred joint than the right. When all measures in each limb were combined, the left arm was shown to make significantly fewer errors than the right arm; however, no differences were seen between the legs. Finally, movement direction had no influence on joint position sense at any joint. Therefore, the results suggest that each joint has different proprioceptive acuity, and that preference influences the joints differently depending on the limb being measured.
Forsyth, Amanda N., "The Influence of Joint-site, Limb Preference, and Physical Activity on Joint Position Sense" (2016). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 1879.