Effects of altered afferent articular input on sensation, proprioception, muscle tone and sympathetic reflex responses.
The influence of afferent articular and periarticular input on muscle tone, joint mobility, proprioception and pain is of considerable interest to practitioners using manipulation. It has long been hypothesized that dysfunctional articulations may generate altered patterns of afferent input. This article reviews the relevant studies that have investigated the impact of articular input on efferent activity under normal conditions and under conditions of altered joint function. The findings suggest that sensory input does have a substantial effect on efferent function and sensation. Furthermore, the studies indicate that the pattern of articular input may be significantly modified by joint inflammation, trauma and effusion and result in changes of muscle tone, joint mobility, proprioception and pain.