Massage Improves Proprioception

Proprioceptors give detailed and continuous information about the position of the body and its movement. Fascia has 10 times more proprioceptors than muscle.

Over time, habituated movement patterns, long term compensations, joint problems, trauma, neurological insults and aging can lead to distorted proprioceptive functions leading to reduced ability and an increased risk of injury.

Massage can be a great way to improve proprioceptive input:

Massage techniques with different frequencies, amplitudes and intensities stimulate the mechanoreceptors to raise your horse’s awareness of its positioning and enhance communication between the sensory receptors in these structures and the central nervous system.

Range of motion exercises activate and engage the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joints. This activation enhances communication between the sensory receptors in these structures and the central nervous system, improving proprioceptive feedback.

This improved awareness allows your horse to use more efficient movement patterns, improve athleticism and reduce its risk of injury.

There are other ways massage can improve proprioception:

Massage enhances circulation to deliver more oxygen and nutrients and remove metabolic waste products. Improved tissue health and oxygenation can positively influence proprioceptive function and enhance healing.

Massage can help relax and release tension in the muscles and connective tissues. By reducing muscle tightness and adhesions, it improves the freedom of movement and joint mobility. Relaxed muscles are more receptive to sensory feedback and can provide more accurate proprioceptive information.

Improving your horse’s proprioceptive input leads to better balance, coordination and stability, a reduced risk of injury, improved performance, more correct and efficient movement patterns, faster adaptation to new movement pattern training.

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