Proprioceptive Impairment Has A Significant Impact

3164 words, 13 pages

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COURSE NAME: Neuro-musculoskeletal

Proprioceptive impairment has a significant impact on rehabilitation outcome – discuss

The term ‘rehabilitate’ means to make someone ‘able’ (Allen, 2002). The outcome of rehabilitation is to help a person achieve the highest level of function, independence and quality of life (Edwards, 2002). However, the process of rehabilitation is much individualised and its structure will often depend on the source of the pathology and the presence of co-morbidities; this will also affect the extent and duration needed for patients to achieve their highest level of functioning. One example of a deficit that is considered to hinder the prognosis of rehabilitation, subsequently impacting... View More »

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Even when muscle power and intellect remain intact, impaired proprioception can cause undefeatable problems in the struggle to regain independence. The underlying pathology will affect rehabilitation and the treatment required. For example, proprioceptive loss resulting from a sprain and thus torn proprioceptive ligaments and tendons, would lead a localised, discrete area of damage to focus rehabilitation on, leaving the nervous system intact. However, a stroke will cause damage to the overall functioning of the nervous system, lending itself to additional problems such as neglect, paralysis and weakness (Carr & Shepherd, 2003). In this instance, a proprioceptive impairment would affect multiple areas of functioning including marked muscular un-coordination and impaired purposeful movements like walking, reaching and even overall balance. Rehabilitation of a stroke patient may therefore be of a longer duration with the likelihood of an impaired functional recovery compared to that of a sprain injury.

Part of the rehabilitation process is to re-educate patient’s to correctly execute a functional motor task. However, loss of proprioception leads to impaired motor control and the learning of new motor skills (Petty & Moore, 2004). Motor control requires the interaction of both feedforward (anticipatory corrections) and feedback (mechanoreceptor input) mechanisms (Stillman, 2002). The function of proprioceptive feedback is to scale the magnitude of feed-forward motor commands, ensuring they are appropriate for the task (Cohen, 1999). For example, during a reach and grasp ...

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