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Biomechanics 101 – Why do we move the way we do??

Allied Health Care for the Ballarat Region

Biomechanics 101 – Why do we move the way we do??

written by Daniel LewryDaniel Lewry

Physiotherapy has changed a lot in recent years. There is a common misconception that physios just do massage, joint mobilisation and a little bit of ultrasound. This concept of a purely hands on approach is not very well supported by the literature to provide best outcomes for the patient. There is a time and place for manual treatment and it can be super effective in the right circumstances.

During an assessment, it is important to look at the way a person is moving and understand why it is that they are moving in this way. It is then possible to look at fixing the problem rather than purely treating the symptoms.

Often looking at a person’s biomechanics (the way the person moves) gives physiotherapists an insight into what the potential problem may be. There are many factors that can alter the way we move. Some of these factors include; pain, structural pathology, reduced range of motion at a joint, reduced strength or endurance of the muscles acting on the body part, reduced neuromotor control (relationship between the nervous system and the muscles) and fear.

The first step to assessing for deficiencies in biomechanics is knowing what the ideal biomechanics should look like. Once you know what normal should look like it easier to identify variations from the normal movement pattern. We will be providing examples over the coming weeks of different biomechanical faults/poor movement patterns.

The next step is knowing how to change the biomechanics. This is often the difficult aspect as we must look in depth at the reasons that the ideal movement pattern is not being adopted. This is where special tests for particular injury/pathology, range of motion testing, strength/endurance testing and neuromotor testing need to be adopted.

If the above testing reveals certain deficiencies, then the therapist needs to use their clinical reasoning to identify which things are relevant and worth changing. This must work in with the persons goals and demands for their work, sport or personal life.

A program can then be implemented to help establish a change. Sometimes this is easy and the person is able to make fast changes to their biomechanics. Other times there are many deficiencies to work on which can take time, commitment and hard work. The process is very individualised and will differ for every person. One size does not fit all.

Over the next 10 weeks we are going to provide examples of certain biomechanical faults and how they can result in certain injuries. We will start with some basic examples of running biomechanics.


Daniel Lewry is a Physiotherapist with Lake Health Group, Ballarat

Closure of Group Exercise Programs

Please note that Lake Health Group are going to immediately cease group classes and only have 2 members access the gym at any one time using their membership.

As coronavirus is serious and Victoria is in a state of emergency it is in our best interests to look after our clients and we feel 2 clients in a room allows enough safe distance (1.5 metres)

This guideline regarding gym usage is reviewed daily based on government recommendations. We request you book your appointment with administration with only 2 spots available at any given time to undertake your independent program in the gym.

For people in group classes who cannot access the programs, please arrange a one on one appointment with Jamie or Josh so that a home program can continue in the interim until group classes at Lake Health Group resume.

Closure of groups will be at least one month at this stage, but we will update you via our clinic, social media and website.

We thank you for your patience at this time.

Updated 16th March 2020