Spine Surgery and Related Research
Online ISSN : 2432-261X
ISSN-L : 2432-261X
Proprioception and Geriatric Low Back Pain
Yoshihito SakaiTsuyoshi WatanabeNorimitsu WakaoHiroki MatsuiNaoaki OsadaTakaya SugiuraYoshifumi MoritaKeitaro KawaiTadashi ItoKazunori Yamazaki
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2022 Volume 6 Issue 5 Pages 422-432


Proprioception is a deep sensation that perceives the position of each part of the body, state of movement and muscle contraction, and resistance and mass applied to the body. Proprioceptive feedback influences movement and positional accuracy, resulting in key somatosensory functions for human postural control. Proprioception encompasses signals received from proprioceptors located in the skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles, tendons, and joint capsules, commonly known as mechanoreceptors. The muscle spindle, a crucial proprioceptor, is stretched during eccentric contraction of muscle, thus generating an action potential on afferent fibers to convey a proprioceptive information to the sensorimotor cortex in the brain. For exercise therapy in patients with locomotor disease, proprioception serves an essential function for motor control; thus, this should be considered to obtain effective muscle output. As postural control is achieved by proprioceptive function according to the balance between the lower limb and trunk, relative proprioceptive weighting ratio can help clarify proprioceptive control using muscle response to mechanical vibration. The absence of proprioceptive information congruent with motor intention activates cortical center monitoring incongruence of sensation, leading to pathological pain. Therapeutic procedures may aim to restore the integrity of cortical information processing in musculoskeletal chronic pain. Poor proprioception is one of the main causes of decreased postural balance control in elderly patients with low back pain (LBP). It has been hypothesized that proprioception of the lower limbs deteriorates with age-related muscle mass loss (sarcopenia), which increases the proprioceptive burden on the lumbar spine. Accurate diagnosis of the proprioceptive function is important for establishing a treatment procedure for proprioceptive recovery, and further prospective research is required to clarify the relationship between proprioception and LBP improvement.

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© 2022 The Japanese Society for Spine Surgery and Related Research.

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