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. 2010 Aug;90(8):1176-84.
doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090399. Epub 2010 Jun 3.

Proprioceptive Acuity Assessment via Joint Position Matching: From Basic Science to General Practice

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Proprioceptive Acuity Assessment via Joint Position Matching: From Basic Science to General Practice

Daniel J Goble. Phys Ther. .

Abstract

Over the past several decades, studies of use-dependent plasticity have demonstrated a critical role for proprioceptive feedback in the reorganization, and subsequent recovery, of neuromotor systems. As such, an increasing emphasis has been placed on tests of proprioceptive acuity in both the clinic and the laboratory. One test that has garnered particular interest is joint position matching, whereby individuals must replicate a reference joint angle in the absence of vision (ie, using proprioceptive information). On the surface, this test might seem straightforward in nature. However, the present perspective article informs therapists and researchers alike of multiple insights gained from a recent series of position matching studies by the author and colleagues. In particular, 5 factors are outlined that can assist clinicians in developing well-informed opinions regarding the outcomes of tests of position matching abilities. This information should allow for enhanced diagnosis of proprioceptive deficits within clinical settings in the future.

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