Biomechanical Screening is an insight into your make-up and how you move. This can have dramatic knock on effects to improving your performance and your body functioning injury free.
Knowing your biomechanics can prevent injury:
*91% of subjects with Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries presented with abnormal pelvic biomechanics
*A higher incidence of low back pain is reported among those with leg length discrepancy
The results of improving biomechanical function:
- Back function improves 141% in 6 weeks using biomechanics programme vs. standard physio which is 39%.
- Case Study – 14% muscle output increase doing 3 x 15 slump exercises immediately.
- If slumps are performed over 10 days there can be as much as 50% increase.
- 97% of people with back pain returned to work after 6 weeks having been off work more than 2 years vs. 10% normally.
- 3 Times improvement in back function in 6 weeks doing biomechanics programme compared to skilled Physiotherapy treatment - Swedish National Physiotherapy Congress
- Improvements in spinal movement velocity of up to 200% after nerve mobilisation.
In scientific terms, mechanics is the science of matter and forces and their effects on movement and equilibrium. Biomechanics is how this is applied to the body.
It is often divided into 2 sections:
i) Static; which is concerned with the body in balance
ii) Dynamic; which is concerned with the body in motion.
The human body and how it moves in mechanical terms can be divided into two areas of study: “extrinsic” and “intrinsic” biomechanics.
Extrinsic Biomechanics looks at movements and the measurement of those movements, then establishes the most efficient way to perform them; it is an important science that is relevant to any sport, fitness or physical conditioning programme.
Intrinsic Biomechanics, on the other hand, is the study of how the body is able to perform those tasks or movements in relation to the individual’s mechanical make-up.
What is a Biomechanics Coach (TM)
A Biomechanics Coach is trained in intrinsic biomechanics and will be able to perform a full- body biomechanical screen, establishing any areas of mechanical weakness in an individual.
A fully trained coach can screen the shoulders, spine, pelvis, knees, ankles, nerves and muscles to see if they are functioning correctly; if these are not working to capacity, then a
Biomechanics Coach will be able to determine whether that is due to genetic issues or something that is developing due to poor technique, posture problems, inadequate rehabilitation or ergonomic set-up.
Once this has been established, the coach will be able to prescribe an exercise programme to help eradicate the problems identified and the client will usually return to be periodically re-tested. This enables progress to be evaluated and the programme modified accordingly. Biomechanics can also help with injury prevention.
Biomechanics and Sports Performance
The performance of a sport is affected by many different factors. Your biomechanical function has a profound effect on how your movement patterns are controlled and compensated for during the performance of a movement or series of movements. It is often these compensations for biomechanical issues that lead to faulty movement patterns and ultimately compromised sports performance.
Biomechanics and Injury Prevention
There are many causes of injury ranging from poor technique, poor ‘core’ strength, poor preparation, insufficient range of movement in the relevant structures and many others. Your correct biomechanical function is also a critical factor, but is generally less understood. A biomechanical screen will highlight the flaws in your pelvic, shoulder and knee function, as well as check whether you have any low grade muscle spasm in key muscles, which may be restricting both movement and the correct functioning of a joint. In addition a biomechanical screen will check your nervous system and highlight any problems that may cause your body to compensate and break down.
Strength and conditioning
Strength and Conditioning (S&C) has had something of a renaissance in the fitness industry in recent years following the great work by the UK Strength and Conditioning Association. The scientific principles in S&C are generally evidence based and anyone who prescribes exercises for any reason should learn and apply them. Clearly biomechanics plays a critical part in this type of training too. Irrespective of the type of training you perform, you need to be biomechanically prepared otherwise that training can cause injury or at least compromise your performance.
Rehab and Injury management
Therapists are becoming increasingly skilled at being able to diagnose and treat injury. One factor that is now recognized to compliment that process is the understanding of biomechanics. The kinetic chain and how structures relate to each other in biomechanical terms can have a profound effect on outcomes. Understanding that the shoulder can be a biomechanical cause of pelvic and low back injuries for example (and vice versa) is a major step forwards in the management of injuries. Recognizing how to measure this and make evidence based decisions based upon those outcomes is another. As biomechanics is increasingly used in the treatment of musculo-skeletal injuries, they are getting better quicker and the risk of recurrence is less.