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Disturbed balance - proprioception

The word proprioception comes forward quite often when the nuisance of the effects of brain injury comes up. What does it mean? It comes from the Latin words proprios and perception (self-perception).

Proprioception is a sense organ. This sense is very important for the motor and balance of the body. Proprioception is also called position sense or postural sense or kinesthesia.

Thanks to proprioception, a person knows what the position of the body is, where the legs or arms are located, that the body is crooked, sloping, flat or upright or upside down.

The body provides the information of sensory cells about body posture and the movement that is made by the central nervous system.

It also provides information about the strength of arms and legs, joints and tendons, and information about fatigue or that muscles are ready to take action, about muscle tension or that arms or legs feel heavy or tired.

Proprioception is one of the three pillars of balance.

The balance is determined by information from:
     - The positional sense or proprioception through muscles, joints and skin to know the position of the body
     - The vestibular organ in the middle ear (vestibular system)
     - Eyesight / eyes what a person sees (vision or visual perception)

If one of these three systems fails, the other two are deployed to compensate. Proprioception is the most difficult to compensate.

The proprioception can be disrupted by brain injury or excess intake of vitamin B6, but also by drunkenness.

If the vestibular system is disturbed or if there is eye injury or visual complaints such as CVI, nystagmus (trembling eyes) due to brain injury, there are (serious) problems with the balance.

There are also complaints with balance if there are complaints in those areas of the brain that process and transmit the stimuli.
It remains difficult to diagnose whether something is damaged by head trauma in the equilibrium organ or the connection between eyes and balance, muscles, sensors and balance.