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This book is written with a strong clinical base and perspective. The minimal biomechanical elements in this book are included only to allow an understanding of the clinical importance of these applications. The book is written with the intent of direct application of information to clinical, functional, and practical use. To that end, throughout the chapters there are Practice Points. These are special inserts that are related to the topic at hand and provide special clinical insight, information, or application of the topic discussed. The experience of the authors enables these “tidbits” of clinical reality to bring meaning to the information presented. The start of each chapter presents a Clinical Scenario. These clinical scenarios are again addressed at the end of the chapter, after the reader has acquired insight and information that assists him or her in realizing the significance of the scenario. Clinical relevance of information is repeated throughout the chapters to encourage students to see why it is important to know and understand the concepts presented throughout the text. The end of each chapter includes two types of exercises: discussion questions and lab activities. The discussion questions are thought-provoking as well as reminders of the more important take-home points of the chapter. The lab activities may be performed in small groups or individually and are intended to apply hands-on elements of the lessons within the chapter.

Since this is likely an introductory text for individuals seeking to eventually move into biomechanics, we have introduced mathematical formulas and concepts in English, not metric, values. We realize that most professional publications require metric values, but since many students have yet to progress in their careers to realize the significance or size of the numbers in terms of force or applications made either to or by the body, we prefer to put these formulas in the more familiar terms of the English measurement system.

Information in this text is divided into four units. Each unit contains specific information that falls under the umbrella of a single element within kinesiology. Kinesiology is broken down into these units to allow the reader to build on the information obtained in one unit to better understand the next, successive unit. The first unit is basic to understanding the other units of the book. It deals with the basic information that is relevant to the understanding of how the body functions from a kinesiological perspective. Chapter 1 provides information on the basic structure and function of joints and muscles as well as planes and directions of motion. Chapter 2 involves the physical concepts that produce forces and torque, create levers, and how these impact body movement. Although it discusses physics concepts, it does so with a clinical approach, placing little emphasis on the mathematical methodology and more emphasis on the functional application. To provide a total perspective on body movement, Chapter 3 includes information on muscles and how they are constructed, how they function neurologically, and how they utilize energy for motion. Motor control and the body’s ability to function dynamically through the interaction of multiple systems are presented. Chapter 4 is the final chapter of this unit, and it presents the various types of muscle contractions and how their functions change during motion. Whereas Chapter 3 discusses muscle function from a neurological approach, Chapter 4 discusses muscle’s mechanical features, how changing length of muscle and altering angles of joints changes a muscle’s ability to perform. It also looks at the main physical factors that determine muscle strength.

The second and third units utilize information from the first unit to develop a clinical understanding of how the body performs from a kinesiological perspective. These two units are divided into upper and lower extremities with the axial skeleton placed between them. Each of these chapters within these two units approaches its specific body segment in similar fashion: The bones and joints are presented and followed by a review of the muscles. Once this basic information is provided, how the segment functions is addressed, providing details that are unique for each body segment. Chapter 5 presents information on the shoulder complex. Chapter 6 delves into the elbow and forearm. Chapter 7 is written by an occupational therapist and deals with the complexities of the wrist and hand. Chapter 8 provides information on the axial skeleton and is written by a physical therapist with expertise on the spine. Chapters 9, 10, and 11 provide information on the hip, knee, and foot and ankle, respectively.

Unit 4, the final section of this text, puts all of the information in the previous three units into practical application for activities from those we perform on a daily basis to specific sport and leisure activities. It provides the reader with application of the concepts introduced in the first unit and combines them with information about the specific body segments provided in the second and third units to create a total picture of kinesiology. Most clinicians are required to utilize their kinesiological knowledge to provide appropriate plans of care for the individuals they treat. After separating kinesiology into small tidbits to allow the reader to grasp the information, this last unit puts it all together to create the complete picture of what kinesiology is and how it is used in health care. Chapter 12 presents information on posture, stance, and gait. Topics include the joint motions, muscle activity, and forces seen in normal gait; the development and changes that occur in normal gait; and pathological gaits commonly seen clinically. It also goes beyond walking gait and analyzes running gait. Chapter 13 provides kinesiological analysis of activities of daily living. Sequences of movement, joint requirements, and muscle activity are analyzed for daily activities such as moving around on the floor, moving from sitting to standing, and lifting; analyses of examples of work and household tasks are also provided. Chapter 14, written by an occupational therapist, provides special attention to upper extremity tasks and their analysis. Upper extremity tasks in this chapter are divided into tasks of the shoulder girdle, elbow, forearm, and wrist to provide the reader with in-depth analysis of common activities performed by these joints. Analysis of sports movements is the topic of Chapter 15. Sports are divided into competitive and recreational sports and are all commonly occurring activities at all levels of competition and within the greatest age range of participants.

As was mentioned, this book takes a strong clinical approach to kinesiology. It is not a biomechanics book, but a kinesiology text that presents information that is directly applicable to the concerns, needs, and functions of clinicians. It is meant to serve the purpose of providing present and future clinicians with the ability to appreciate human motion, understand relevant kinesiological application, and produce successful treatment results.

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