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Biomechanical Chain
Do You Know How Connected Your Body Is?
Biomechanical Chain - How It's All Connected

"Biomechanical Chain,  "Kinematic Chain" or "Kinetic Chain"
- What's it all mean? 


Biomechanical chain refers to an interconnectedness that is the basis of how our bodies work, and it's about more than merely the bones that make up our skeleton. This biomechanical chain includes our muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, glands, nerves and much more.The study of biomechanics requires consideration of resultant motions produced by forces. Kinetics refers to the study of forces that affect motion of a body, such as friction, gravity, or pressure. 


These terms describe how  your muscles, connective tissues, joints, bones, nerves, and gravity, all are working together to create a delicate system and whether that system is functioning properly.


Healthy biomechanics enable us to move efficiently by properly supporting all the elements of the kinetic chain. Poor biomechanics cause the body to overcompensate for failing links, resulting in increased energy expenditure, muscle fatigue, and pain.
Brilliantly Designed for Transfer of Power
The concept of kinetic chain reaction originated from the German engineering scientist Franz Reuleaux (1829-1905), who is often called the "father of kinematics." Reuleaux first proposed the novel "link concept" in his book The Kinematics of Machinery in 1876. The link system concept, although initially related to engineering, has become a widely accepted and well-reviewed principle in rehabilitation.
Understanding the kinetic chain function and reaction has helped us better understand the underlying physiology of human movement as a series of moving parts. For example, the nervous system controls the muscles, which are influenced by gravity, that move our bones and enable joint motion. From there, every motion activates neighboring nerves that control neighboring muscles, which are influenced by gravity, that move neighboring bones and enable neighboring joint motion. In short, every action within our body creates a ripple effect across the whole kinetic chain. 
Biomechanics and the kinetic chain can be applied to almost everything we do, from good posture to moving boxes, and sports such as running, baseball, cycling, and down to the daily exercises taking place at the gym. Take baseball for example. When you throw a baseball, the transfer of power from the point of your plant foot, to the tip of your throwing hand is a process that relies on strength, flexibility and range of motion in your foot, ankle, knee, thigh, hip, core, chest, shoulder, elbow, forearm, hand. Have an issue in any one spot and the transfer of power is diminished. Go too far astray and the entire chain becomes tangled.
The goals of understanding exercise and sport biomechanics are performance improvement, as well as injury prevention and rehabilitation. 
Variables that Affect Biomechanics
There are several variables that can affect the biomechanics of an individual, as well as their performance in physical activity. Genetics and individual body makeup, such as a person born with flat feet, can play a major role in having proper biomechanics.

Another variable is technique. This is a variable that can be somewhat controlled and improved if you have the right knowledge, discipline, and/or trainer to assist you in improving your technique in whatever exercise or sport you participate in. 
Human performance can also be enhanced by improvements in the design of physical equipment and technology. This is applicable in sports equipment, gym equipment, and rehabilitative technology. Some examples include:
  • Exercise shoes that provide stability, support, and agility, and other types of proper footwear. 
  • Strong but lightweight safety pads in hockey, football, and other contact sports. 
  • Weightlifting belts, wrist wraps, and knee braces. 
  • Box squats to assist in better technique for squatting. 
Finally, exercise and conditional programs can improve or hinder biomechanical performance. Understanding the biomechanics of an individual can assist the trainer or doctor recommend exercises and supporting equipment to optimize performance and prevent injury.
Why It's Important to Understand Your Biomechanics
The goals of exercise and sport biomechanics are performance improvement, as well as injury prevention and rehabilitation. Understanding of the kinetic chain can enable us to effectively treat our pain. If we just treat the location of the symptoms, or use a singular correction approach, we fail to treat the source of dysfunction within the kinetic chain and the symptoms will likely reoccur. Everyone has their very own unique movement pattern and we need to understand and incorporate this into your own personal daily and physical routine  so we get the best from your body.

Biomechanics is useful to assist sports medicine professionals in identifying what forces could cause an injury, how injuries could be prevented, and what exercises may assist with rehabilitation from an injury. The biomechanical research that is continually being done is important because is helps the doctors and therapists confirm potential injury mechanisms. For example, several biomechanical factors play a role in determining that women are more prone to ACL injuries than males. Coaches may observing patterns in the athlete's movements and techniques and can therefore recommend warm-up exercises to increase performance and prevent injury. 
Dr. Sullivan's Recommendations
It's important to understand how your body moves, and the first step to understanding that is to become aware of what movements or activities you are involved in on a daily basis. What does your work entail your body to do? Do you play a sport? What type of workout program do you participate in? Once you become aware of the physical demands of your daily life, then you can explore which parts of your body do you use the most, or which are most afflicted by what you do.

There is a good amount of information of how proper body mechanics can be applied to different sports and activities. This is especially true for running biomechanics - there has been a lot of research done in regards to form and technique.

Researching and analyzing the proper form and techniques associated with whatever sport or activity could pin point any deficiencies you may have, and therefore identify the type of conditioning and requirements the individual need.
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Note: The material provided in this newsletter is for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein may not always reflect the views of the NOVA Chiropractic, nor do they imply an endorsement. 
In This Issue
How It's All Connected
Brillantly Designed for Transfer of Power
Variables that Affect Biomechanics
Why It's Important to Understand Your Biomechanics
Dr. Sullivan's Recommendations
NOVA Chiropractic Blog Article
Additional Articles
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Updated HIPPA Notice of Privacy Practices
2014 Office Policy Updates
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