Unconstrained shoulder joint position sense does not change with body orientation

Authors

  • Jason Chapman,

    1. Department of Health, Physical Education and Dance, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David N. Suprak,

    1. Department of Physical Education, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington 98225
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Andrew R. Karduna

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Human Physiology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1240
    • Department of Human Physiology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403-1240; (T: 541-346-0438; F: 541-346-2841).
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Our knowledge of the role of muscle activation on proprioception is incomplete. Previous work has either focused on comparing active and passive motions or manipulated both muscle activation and joint angles simultaneously. We conducted an experiment at the shoulder in which subjects' trunks were tilted backwards to decouple joint angle from joint torque. Twenty three healthy subjects underwent testing in an unconstrained joint position sense task. Kinematics were measured with a magnetic tracking device. The joint position sense task consisted of subjects moving their arms to a predetermined orientation in space with the help of visual feedback from the magnetic tracking device presented to the subjects through a head-mounted display. Subjects were then asked to reproduce the presented joint position in the absence of visual feedback. The protocol was performed under two tilts: upright and trunk tilted back 45°. This allowed for a comparison of joint position sense at different joint angles (at the same resistive torque) and at different resistive torques (at the same joint angles). When comparing these two tilts, we found that matching based on elevation angle demonstrated no significant difference, while matching based on torques did find differences. These results implicate elevation angle at the shoulder as playing a more important role in modulating joint position sense than joint torque. © 2008 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 27: 885–890, 2009

Ancillary