What exactly is proprioception? You could call it body sense or kinesthetic awareness – it is the brain’s ability to sense the relative positions and movements of the different body parts. Because of proprioception, you know exactly where your hand is in space as you move it around, even though your eyes are closed.
All coordinated movement depends on proprioception. When proprioception is compromised, say from a neurological disease or drunkenness, seemingly simple activities like walking or even standing can become impossibly difficult. It should be obvious that elite level movement in sport or dance requires an elite level of body sense. For example, there is no way to land a backflip onto a balance beam without knowing exactly what your body is doing at all times. Accurate body sense is also essential for feeling good in your body and being free of pain. As discussed below, problems with proprioception can be a major source of pain…
[Todd Hargrove September 12, 2008]