Biomechanics and Physical Therapy
The physical therapist is a key health care provider for diagnosis and treatment of muscular ailments and mobility impairments of the human, typically injuries to joints such as the knee, elbow, and shoulder. The moment you walk in the door at the physical therapist’s office, they are observing your gait and posture as initial indicators of injury and pathology. They are biomechanics specialists, with the principles of mechanics at their fingertips. They also assess the elasticity of tissue, the timing of muscle contractions, and the strength of muscle. Homework and lab activities focus on the following topics:
In the YouTube video series above, Dr. Michael Bridges, professor of physical therapy, provides a background to the roles of a physical therapist and the physics principles they use on a daily basis. He examines typical joint injuries and describes how free body diagrams and mechanical advantage influence diagnosis and treatment. Finally, he discusses electric signals in the body and how they can be manipulated for healing.