The most important aspect of biomechanics to consider is force.
Force is simply a push or a pull exerted by one object on another. For an example, when a muscle contracts it creates a force that is transferred to the tendon to pull on the bony attachment, thus resulting in motion. An important consideration with force is that it is a vector quantity.
A vector quantity always has 3 variables:
- A Point of Application
- A Magnitude
- A Direction
Types of Forces
There many types of forces to consider when looking at biomechanics. A detailed consideration of these forces is necessary to achieve a full picture of the biomechanical system. There are 4 types of forces to consider with biomechanics mentioned below. However, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the forces involved with biomechanics. It is only meant to display the amount of complexity involved with human biomechanics and to help compose a free-body diagram.
- Motion Forces -Rotatory, Tranlatory, Curvilinear
- External Forces – Gravity, Wind, Objects, Other People
- Internal Forces – Muscles, Connective Tissue (Elastic), Bone
- Reactionary Forces – Ground Reaction, Joint Reaction, Gliding/Shear/Friction
Force is the basic component that biomechanics are built upon. Force is a vector component that has a point of application, a magnitude, and a direction. There are many types of forces that act on a biomechanical system. Being able to construct a detailed free-body diagram of the primary segment and adjacent segments will help to develop the full static and/or dynamic biomechanical picture.
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