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PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:40 am
by timu
When I have significantly increased pain I have diminished proprioception and balance. I have to look at my feet and hold the walls.
This is something I have mentioned to my doctors and they all say "that is interesting but I have never heard that before". I cannot be the only person this happens to. It make sense to me that because my sensory nerves are significantly affected that this would happen. Marieke do you know if proprioceptors are completely separate from pain sensors? [If they are, I am sure mine get mixed up.]
Anyone else?

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:44 am
by mona
I am not a doctor...but I have heard of it. :) It only makes sense that if we have loss of feeling in certain areas that our mind cannot always know where that part is, or perform full capacity of its function. My increased pain comes from increased activity or fatigue. My mental picture is everything is tired and cant make sense of what is going on to rest. Rest might be an hour, or six...but rest and recoup. I want to thank you for teaching me a new word though...I had to google it to know what you were asking. I know I keep saying how much my Wii game board has helped me this winter, but it has helped me in my balance and coordination. We need to work on those two things for everything to come into place. I am working with some other balance excercises too and all this has allowed me to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night without turning on the lights. husband likes that! :)

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:24 am
by marieke
Here, this is a good definition/explanation of it:

Proprioception — from Latin proprius, meaning "one's own," and perception — is one of the human senses. There are between nine and 21 in all, depending on which sense researcher you ask. Rather than sensing external reality, proprioception is the sense of the orientation of one's limbs in space. This is distinct from the sense of balance, which derives from the fluids in the inner ear, and is called equilibrioception. Proprioception is what police officers test when they pull someone over and suspect drunkenness. Without proprioception, we'd need to consciously watch our feet to make sure that we stay upright while walking.

Proprioception doesn't come from any specific organ, but from the nervous system as a whole. Its input comes from sensory receptors distinct from tactile receptors — nerves from inside the body rather than on the surface. Proprioceptive ability can be trained, as can any motor activity.

Without proprioception, drivers would be unable to keep their eyes on the road while driving, as they would need to pay attention to the position of their arms and legs while working the pedals and steering wheel. And I would not be able to type this article without staring at the keys. If you happen to be snacking while reading this article, you would be unable to put food into your mouth without taking breaks to judge the position and orientation of your hands.

Learning any new motor skill involves training our proprioceptive sense. Anything that involves moving our arms or legs in a precise way without looking at them invokes it — baseball, basketball, painting, you name it. Proprioception is often overlooked as one of the senses because it is so automatic that our conscious mind barely notices it. It is one of the oldest senses, probably even more evolutionarily ancient than smell.

Among other reasons, proprioception is known to be a distinct sense because there are cases in which the proprioceptive ability is absent in a patient. This means that proprioception uses dedicated brainware. Proprioception-disabled patients can only walk by paying attention to where they put their legs. Thankfully, this condition is extremely rare.

I think most of us with decreased mobility have this as a problem to some extent. I have none on the left side (or very little) and in the dark I have no balance b/c of it.

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:59 am
by Lynne
The only time I have problems with it is when wash my hair in the shower. Tilting my head back and shutting my eyes to rinse my hair is a big problem. I have to keep one hand on the rail in the shower the entire time, then still feel like I am falling over.

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:52 am
by marieblond
Lynne wrote:The only time I have problems with it is when wash my hair in the shower. Tilting my head back and shutting my eyes to rinse my hair is a big problem. I have to keep one hand on the rail in the shower the entire time, then still feel like I am falling over.

excactly the same to me. and read here: :| :|

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:08 am
by timu
Shower is the same for me. On bad days I find myself hitting the shower walls.

When I came home from the hospital I invested in a good shower chair thinking I would use it for years. Now it sits in the bathroom and I leave my PJs on it. It also serves as a pleasant reminder of my progress.

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:15 pm
by Jo Ike
Same thing happens to me in the shower, I hold onto the rail. It also happens sometimes during the evening when I get up to use the bathroom. I find myself grabbing for everything to find my way back into bed.


Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:26 pm
by conradbump
OMG! This was the thing that nobody in my family understood, nor the neurologist but the physiotherapist did! I had 6 months whereby I truly could not understand where my body was!:-o
I would try and walk up the street and then have to stop cos I couldn't cope with anybody walking towards me! :-o
I couldn't even feel the floor with my feet. The physio said that I'd lost my sense of proprioception and the neurologist said that it was my body faking it.
My physio was/is brilliant. She gives me exercises to do just like taking 5 steps with my eyes closed and if I do it every day it very gradually trains my body to realise that it's the right thing.

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:03 am
by tmcmillin
I had more trouble with this in the beginning, but it is much better now. Can relate to those who have mentioned the shower. Who knew that rinsing your hair would be a problem? Now, 3 years post Dx, I have little trouble closing my eyes in the shower, but I do make sure my feet are a solid distance apart before doing so to keep my balance.

Fatigue also affected my proprioception. 2 years after diagnosis, I went to the YMCA for a fitness evaluation. I mentioned my issues with balance which the trainer had no feel for of course. I did the step test, where you step up on a stair and down for 2 minutes (with the wall close at hand thankfully). Afterwards, we walked into the fitness center and I was limping. The trainer asked if I was in pain and wanted to sit down. I didn't have any "normal" pain, but my bad leg was all over the place, just trying to figure out where it was in space! After a little walking, it figured it out and the limp went away. This also happened after 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer. Others just don't understand proprioceptive difficulties!

I had asked my neurologist also, who responded with, "hmm....that's odd". I heard these kind of comments a lot through my recovery and it was so frustrutrating!! I got him back though, because he apparantly forgot that I have hypersensitive reflexes, went to test my knee reflex and I almost kicked him in the groin! He should have known better! =))

There is hope though, because I just went to the YMCA yesterday after not going for 9 months. I did the elliptical trainer for 20 minutes and got off without limping!! Hang in there and just keep using those legs and eventually they will figure it out.

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:35 am
by Rox
Hi Tim :D

Here is a before and after videos of Denise, a MS patient who suffered from the problems you mentioned and who had the liberation treatment. Amazing results.

Before the liberation treatment: ... =1&index=5

24 hours after the liberation treatment: ... playnext=1

A few days after the liberation treatment ... re=channel

My disclaimer: I'm not suggesting people to have this experimental treatment. I'm just spreading the news about its existence and likely results.

More about Denise story at: ... EN=9802806

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:33 am
by marieblond
becomes better if you make with the PT special training measurements. ask them!!

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:15 pm
by conradbump
I am seeing a marvellous physiotherapist who is trained in vestibular disorders. She is fully aware of loss of proprioception and is working with me on a series of exercises to help this.

I too have the most strange sensation that unless I look at the ground then i don't know where my body is in relation to where i am walking. I find it very difficult to walk along a street, especially one with an uneven surface, step down from a kerb, turn a corner or walk down a hill. When people approach me I have to stop because I feel that if I walk towards them I will bump into them.

The best exercises I have done are very simple and seem to have worked quite quickly. One of them is just simply walking backwards and forwards with eyes open, concentrating on swinging alternative legs and feet and then turning and continuing. Once confident you try it with eyes closed, alongside just standing with eyes, shut eyes closed.

I am continuing to see the physiotherapist because she is giving me small but simple tasks to do with eyes open,eyes shut, and then adding other movements which challenge my 'sickness/balance' levels.
However, I do notice that these help me to function with more 'normal' daily life movements and not be so worried about whether I'm going to stumble, trip.
Hope this helps x

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:24 am
by PeteVickers
Yeah...I too have proprioception problems. Can anyone tell me some useful exercises to try to improve this?

I have just passed the one-year mark since the TM curse struck and have reasonable strength in one leg, but my right leg is very weak and I cannot walk without elbow crutches...and then only for short distances...and I have to look at my leg so I know what it is doing!

I sometimes wake up at night and I have no idea where my leg is. I even woke one night with pain in my hip and I couldn't figure out what was causing it for a while, until I discovered the leg had slipped off the bed and was dangling over the side. My PT lies me on my stomach and manipulates the leg, but I have no idea what she is doing if I don't look.

I have no idea how to improve the I perhaps waiting to see if the myelin re-growth restores it... or is there anything I could do to help?


Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:36 am
by timu

As I recall the PT had me trying to touch targets with my feet. This was while I was using a walker.
If you stand on your good left leg and support yourself with a walker [with a bed behind you], can you move your right leg around a little? Then put things on the floor and try to touch them. If you get tired you could try this in a chair as well.

I think sitting with your right foot on a ball [like a basketball] and trying to rotate the ball would be helpful as well.

My left foot[leg] is still much worse/weaker than my right. I practice every day standing on one foot and it slowly gets better. I am also constantly making circles with my left foot/ankle until fatigue sets in. When you get that far, the WII Fit has lots of good balance exercises. It is funny I still don't feel much in my left foot. I do feel pinpricks but not light touches. Sometimes I trip because I do not pick my toes up on that foot as I should. I have had episodes where that foot just hangs there, I look at my foot and cannot believe it is doing that.

July 15 with be my 1 year anniversary. Believe me, I am grateful to be where I am, but pain in my saddle region is the most difficult for me to deal with. I wish I could do without 3600 mg of gabapentin a day and the zanaflex and cymbalta etc etc.

Good luck on your journey

Re: Proprioception.....

PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:19 am
by marieblond
hi tim and pete,

I recommend for soul once a week to go to spa. wonderful. the muscles become soft....

for balance: there exist a training programm on this slacklines. look here: found it only in german. perhaps you can google with more success:

it was applied in my rehab only two times - I got "another" balance center in my brain, so it is my resumeé. this balance feels other. especially important was, that I after this could control my right knee again. and free hand dressing. very slow, but it was impossible before. in this time I used a walker/rollator.

and these exercises were for me so helpful!!! ... re=related