Other Protective Sensory Organs

Additional sensory organs around the joints and in the joint capsules transmit information used to adjust movements and protect the body from injury. Figure 4-8 shows three different sensory organs, each of them responsible for sending specific sensory information: Pacinian corpuscles are sensitive to pressure, Ruffini corpuscles are sensitive to position and speed, and the free nerve endings are sensitive to pain. These sensory organs are distributed in capsules, in perimysium around muscle, and in periosteum around bones. A kick on the tibia can cause severe and immediate pain, but if there is no damage, the pain will disappear in as little as 10 seconds. If an injury such as contusion occurs, the pain-producing substances will be synthesized, and the pain will persist.

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