Can texture change joint position sense at the knee joint in those with poor joint position accuracy?

Meghan Lamers, Joanna Reeves, Razan Alshamali, Chantelle Murnaghan, Leah Bent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Skin contributes to joint position sense (JPS) at multiple joints. Altered cutaneous input at the foot can modulate gait and balance and kinesiology tape can enhance proprioception at the knee, but its effect may be dependent on existing capacity. The effect of texture at the knee, particularly in those with poor proprioception, is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of textured panels on JPS about the knee.

Materials and methods: Eighteen healthy females were seated in an adjustable chair. Their left leg (target limb) moved passively from 65° to a target of flexion (115° or 90°) or extension (40°). Their right leg (matching limb) was passively moved towards this target angle and participants indicated when their limbs felt aligned. We tested three textured panels over the knee of the matching limb and two control conditions. The target limb maintained a control panel. Directional error, absolute error and variable error in matching between limbs were calculated.

Results: On average textured panels over the knee increased JPS error compared to control pants for participants with poor JPS. These participants undershot the target at 90° of flexion significantly more with textured panels (−11° ± 3°) versus control (−7° ± 3°, p = 0.04).

Conclusions: For participants with poor JPS accuracy, increased JPS error at 90° with a textured panel suggests these individuals utilised altered cutaneous information to adjust joint position. We propose increased error results from enhanced skin input at the knee leading to the perception of increased flexion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-240
JournalSomatosensory & Motor Research
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Proprioception
  • skin
  • texture

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