Introductory Biomechanics book cover

Introductory Biomechanics

An interactive text ideal for all health and sports professional students who require a basic understanding of the major biomechanical principles they meet in practice, including movement analysis and tissue mechanics. Starting from the point of zero-knowledge, this book presents what can be a very dry and difficult area, in an engaging and visual way using everyday objects to illustrate the principles and linking this to human anatomy and movement . Less time is spent on mathematics and classic mechanics with greater emphasis on how these principles are applied to professional practice

Introductory Biomechanics uses workbook–style learning diffusing manageable chunks of theory with learning activities and ultimately making the link back to clinical application. The accompanying CD is closely tied in with the text, containing video clips and real motion analysis data of walking, jumping, cycling and rising from a chair. There are also numerous animations of principles in action. The user is in control of most clips and animations and can change settings and manipulate variables practically showing biomechanics in action. The CD also contains a dynamic quiz drawing randomly from a pool of over 70 questions (MCQs, fill-in-the-blanks, true/false) which also provides feedback and percentage score on completion.


Published: January 2010

Imprint: Churchill Livingstone

ISBN: 978-0-7020-4258-4


  • Introduction

    Chapter 1 Fundamentals of force
    What is force?
    What does mechanical force do
    Scalar or Vector?
    Drawing vectors
    Point of application
    Force magnitude and change in motion
    The force of muscles
    Magnitude of moments
    Direction of moments

    Chapter 2 Gravity, mass and stability
    Gravity: the ultimate force
    Centre of mass
    Calculating the centre of mass.
    Moments created by mass
    Local and general stability
    Standing balance

    Chapter 3 Force analysis: Graphs and maths
    How do forces combine?
    The Q-angle and knee pain
    Measuring force
    Using mathematics to resolve force

    Chapter 4 Forces and motion
    Moment of inertia
    Linear momentum
    Rotational momentum
    Conservation of angular momentum 
    Newton’s second law: Impulse and momentum
    Newton’s third law: Action and reaction
    Bodies in contact: pressure and friction
    Centre of pressure

    Chapter 5 Work and machines
    Muscles at work
    Direction of work
    Using machines to do work
    Categories of levers
    Velocity ratio
    More advanced machines
    The power of work
    Practical problems on force and human movement

    Chapter 6 Stress and strain
    Stress-strain relationship and stiffness
    A few other properties of materials

    Chapter 7 Composition and mechanical properties of connective tissue
    Connective tissue
    Articular cartilage
    Tissue remodelling
    Inactivity (immobilisation)
    Effect of ageing
    Effect of recent history
    Science of stretch

    Chapter 8 Flow
    Relative density
    Hydrostatic pressure
    Archimedes principle, buoyancy and Pascal's law
    Take the pressure off
    Air pressure
    Mechanics of flow
    Bernoulli’s principle
    Blood flow: haemodynamics

    Chapter 9 Energy and movement
    What energy is
    Potential and kinetic energy
    Elastically stored potential energy
    Energy conservation
    Muscle energy
    Measuring energy during movement

    Chapter 10 Therapeutic application of force
    Mobilization techniques
    Static stretching
    Respiratory techniques
    Dynamic wrist splints


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