What is biomechanics?

Application of mechanical principles in the study of living organisms
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Biomechnaics = Bio + Mechanics

Bio living organisms Mechanics the study of the action of forces on particles and mechanical systems; a branch of physics
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Sub-branches of biomechanics

kinematics: study of the appearance or description of motion kinetics: study of the actions of forces

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Sub-branches of biomechanics

statics: study of systems in constant motion dynamics: study of systems subject to acceleration
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Main Themes in Biomechanics
 

Safety: Prevention of injury Effectiveness: maximization of the output Efficiency: economy of energy expenditure
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What is Biomechanics used for?

Improving Sports Performance – Better technique – Better equipment (e.g. klapskates) Sports Injury Prevention – Identifying safer techniques – Developing protective equipment (e.g. ankle brace)
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What is Biomechanics used for?

Occupational Injury Prevention – (e.g. low back pain, hand & wrist trauma)

Injury Rehabilitation – Identify when safe to return to activity

Improving Mobility – (e.g. surgery planning in cerebral palsy)
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What is Biomechanics used for?

Reducing Physical or Functional Declines – (e.g. reducing injurious falls in older adults; preventing bone loss in older space)

• Product Design – (e.g. athletic shoes, prosthetics,
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Study of Biomechanics’ problem

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qualitative: pertaining to quality (without the use of numbers)  quantitative: involving numbers


Evaluation/ Testing


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Directional Terms

Anterior / posterior: toward the front/back of the body = ventral/dorsal

Medial / lateral: toward/away from the midline of the body
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Directional Terms

Superior / inferior: closer/farther to/from the head = cranial/caudal

Proximal / distal: closer/away to/from the trunk Superficial / deep: inside the body and toward/away from the body surface Biomechanics I


Anatomical Reference Position

erect standing position feet slightly separated and pointed forward arms hanging relaxed at the sides palms of hands facing forward
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Plane of Motion

Plane: the imaginary flat surfaces that pass through the body
– –

Sagittal : side view Coronal (Frontal) : front and back view Transverse (Horizontal) : top and bottom view
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Axis of Motion
• Axis : the imaginary or real line around which movement takes place
– perpendicular to the plane of movement – Medial-Lateral – Anterior-Posterior – Longitudinal Biomechanics I

Planes and Axes of Motion
Plane Sagittal Axis Medial-Lateral Movement Flexion / Extension Dorsiflexion / Plantar Flexion Anterior / Posterior Pelvic Tilt Frontal (Coronal) AnteriorPosterior Abduction / Adduction Lateral Flexion / Lateral Tilt Inversion / Eversion Internal / External Rotation Pronation / Supination Horizontal Abduction / Adduction
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Movements can be defined based on how they relate to the body

Flexion / Extension Abduction / Adduction Internal rotation / External rotation Plantarflexion / Dorsiflexion
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Motion of Objects

Linear motion (Translation): motion in which a straight line drawn between 2 or more points on the body maintain the same direction during the movement (show the same trajectory (motion along a line))

All points along the line will move along the parallel paths
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Straight paths

rectilinear motion

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Curved paths

curvilinear motion

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Angular motion (Rotation): rotation around a fixed axis has all points on a rigid segment moving in parallel planes along circular paths about the axis

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General Motion - combination of linear motion + angular motion

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Motion of rigid body

All motions can be decomposed into the three translations and three rotations For a motion to be categorized, the following must be defined:
Type of motion (linear or angular)  The reference frame  Degree of freedom (2D or 3D)

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2-D Reference Frame

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3-D Reference Frame

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Degrees of Freedom

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First class


Second class


Third class


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