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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 9065495, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9065495
Research Article

A New Neurocognitive Interpretation of Shoulder Position Sense during Reaching: Unexpected Competence in the Measurement of Extracorporeal Space

1Complex Unit of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sapienza University of Rome, Azienda Policlinico Umberto I, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
2Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Azienda Policlinico Umberto I, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
3Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Azienda Policlinico Umberto I, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
4Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Sapienza University of Rome, Azienda Policlinico Umberto I, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy
5Department of Geriatrics, Neurosciences and Orthopedics, Division of Neurophysiopathology, Teaching Hospital “Agostino Gemelli”, Rome, Italy

Received 12 July 2016; Revised 7 November 2016; Accepted 28 November 2016

Academic Editor: Pasquale De Bonis

Copyright © 2016 Teresa Paolucci et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. The position sense of the shoulder joint is important during reaching. Objective. To examine the existence of additional competence of the shoulder with regard to the ability to measure extracorporeal space, through a novel approach, using the shoulder proprioceptive rehabilitation tool (SPRT), during reaching. Design. Observational case-control study. Methods. We examined 50 subjects: 25 healthy and 25 with impingement syndrome with a mean age [years] of 64.52 +/− 6.98 and 68.36 +/− 6.54, respectively. Two parameters were evaluated using the SPRT: the integration of visual information and the proprioceptive afferents of the shoulder (Test 1) and the discriminative proprioceptive capacity of the shoulder, with the subject blindfolded (Test 2). These tasks assessed the spatial error (in centimeters) by the shoulder joint in reaching movements on the sagittal plane. Results. The shoulder had proprioceptive features that allowed it to memorize a reaching position and reproduce it (error of 1.22 cm to 1.55 cm in healthy subjects). This ability was lower in the impingement group, with a statistically significant difference compared to the healthy group ( by Mann–Whitney test). Conclusions. The shoulder has specific expertise in the measurement of the extracorporeal space during reaching movements that gradually decreases in impingement syndrome.