Clinical biomechanics is a branch of biomechanics that that applies physical principles to evaluate and develop treatment protocols for patients and athletes. The body is a complex series of systems capable of reacting to internal and external environmental stimuli almost instantaneously.
Biomechanics is the science behind deciphering how mechanical forces influence the internal workings of the human body as well as how the body functions during physical activity of sports and activities of daily living.
The goal of clinical biomechanics is to develop treatment protocols and methods to aid in increasing the quality of life of individuals suffering from a health condition, disease or illness inhibiting the ability to move and function properly. For example, when an individual has difficulties walking, the entire gait pattern is examined.
The obvious problem may be the bodies inability to pull the foot up when the leg swings through, but there also may be some underlying cause, such as weak hip and leg muscles. By providing a “looking glass” into how the body reacts and performs, and applying biomechanical principles to specialized movement, clinical biomechanics can also be a helpful tool to maximize or enhance performance in athletes.
By observing and assessing the way an athlete performs sports-related activities, slight abnormalities in movement patterns can be found. By applying acceptable biomechanics research theories to these subtle movement irregularities, improvements of performance and efficiency of movement can be achieved. This scientifically based practice is additionally beneficial in reducing or preventing injury.