The Use of Mobile Technology to Assess Wrist Proprioception
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The freedom of multitasking, walking, running, or playing sports requires an unconscious awareness of our limbs locations and movements. Proprioception helps provide this freedom, allowing us to recognize a limb's orientation in space without visual cues. There are a number of sensory receptors located in the skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joint capsules that send afferent sensory infonnation to the central nervous system. This information is processed in the sensory-motor cortex, where the brain interprets changes in muscle length and tension to determine a limb's position. The brain sends efferent neural signals down the spinal cord providing motor commands to change limb orientation, velocity or angle. Proprioception is critical for balancing, preventing falls and generating reflexes. Any impairment to this process can indicate disease, aging or injury. Therefore, having an accurate and precise device to quantify proprioception is important for detecting changes in proprioception as well as advancing further research of proprioception. The purpose of this study was twofold. First, we sought to test the reliability of a Joint Position Sense (JPS) app on assessing wrist proprioception. The second purpose was to test the hypothesis that the angular errors in a joint position sense task would decrease as the degree of wrist flexion increased. In this study, the repositioning errors did not improve with an increase in degree of wrist flexion. However, the JPS app proves a valid and reliable tool for assessing wrist proprioception.