Proprioceptive system is the body’s awareness of movement and joint position sense. – the sense of movement and where the body is in space. It is the body’s ability to sense exactly where our body is in space without actually having a look. In other words Proprioception is our sense of position; a cognitive awareness of our body in space. Let’s say we are in a pitch black room, still we know exactly where our body is in space without actually having a look at it.How does this work? A bunch of tiny little sensors (muscle spindles) are located throughout our entire body in almost all over our muscles. These receptors inside of our muscles are connected to the central nervous system (the spinal cord and the brain) and are sensitive to stretching. As the muscle contracts (gets shorter and thicker) the muscle spindle stretches, and send a signal (action potentials) towards the brain which enable us to exactly know how contracted or how relaxed every single muscle is in our entire body. This allow us to know exactly where our body is in space. Our sense of balance and sense of position is is taken care of by our proprioceptive sense. Example and the benefits of proprioceptive exercises:After soft tissue injury there commonly will be an impaired balance and proprioceptive ability of the individual. This aspect cannot be overlooked as it can leave the person prone to re-injury, or decrease their coordination during sport. There always will be certain amount of damage to the nerve endings and the pathway around the injured site following soft tissue injury. As a result our brain has less proprioceptive information – position of our joint and limbs – around the injured site hence the muscles will not work as effectively as normally. Reduced balance, coordination, strength and stability makes the individual more prone to strains, sprains and or re-injury. In order to decrease the chances of re-injury or further injuries, we need to re-train our proprioceptive ability. We can do it through specific exercises. We can start with balancing exercises as soon as flexibility and strength has returned to the injured site. These exercises will re-train our damaged nerves around the injured site. Some example of balancing exercises: Walking along a straight line; balancing on a beam; balancing on one foot; more advanced: side step lunge, balancing on one foot with closed eyes; use of wobble board, Swiss balls, stability cushions, foam rollers. Proprioceptive exercises reduce the reoccurrence of injury or further injuries and speed up athlete’s ability to return to competition following injury. Proprioceptive exercises are an important part of rehabilitation for any ankle joint injury especially following the very first incident in order to avoid repeated injury. In this case balance training will help to improve proprioception and strengthen the weakened ligaments.