Biomechanics is a science that studies body posture, considering the human body as a machine capable of certain performances, such as the phenomenon of motion that can be analyzed with sufficient accuracy using special equipment for evaluation and measurement. Modern biomechanics can be traced back to Galileo Galilei who said that “every phenomenon in nature can be expressed through mathematical formulas”, a phrase that defines it. Today it is commonly presented as geometrical substrate of musculoskeletal system integrated in three-dimensional space and related to the laws that govern our universe.
What is posture?
Posture is defined as the way in which we hold our bodies in an upright position while standing, sitting, and lying down. Good posture is classified as when your body is aligned in such a way that the least amount of strain is being placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movements or weight-bearing activities.
Why is posture so important?
The human body was created in such a way that when we are standing, running, laying with proper posture, our body is working most efficiently. When we alter our posture for whatever reason (an accident, muscle deficiencies, etc.) there is extra stress and pressure being applied to the ligaments and muscles of our body. According to the Kansas Chiropractic Foundation, “when your muscles, joints and ligaments are working as intended, your vital organs are able to remain in proper position and the nervous system is able to function normally” (Nunley, 2014).
- Decreases your risk of injury
- Decreases wear and tear on your joints
- Decreases degenerative arthritis
- Allows muscles to work more efficiently, so your body uses less energy and in turn prevents fatigue
- Decrease risk of muscle strain, overuse and back and neck pain
- Improves your appearance
To resolve any problems in balance and static of a rigid body we have to take into consideration all factors involved, such as muscle contractions and the reactional forces on the joints (internal forces), as well as the other influences such as the force of gravity and weight and pressure applied during exercises or set by prosthetic (external forces).
Therefore the following has to be taken into consideration:
- Direction of forces of muscles involved
- Points of application of involved muscle groups
- Weight of body parts
- Center of gravity of the affected body parts
- Axes of rotation of joints
- Parameters of a rotating joints
Resolution of a problem is usually highly complicated and needs to apply both laws of physics and geometry calculations according to the following basic principles:
Biomechanical study of feet statics and dynamics, with and without footwear, undoubtedly represents a major contribution to the study of balance and posture, providing at the same time all the clinical and therapeutic indications for a possible correction. A human body is always switching from a condition of balance to imbalance, and this is considerably magnified when its support base is not correct. However, every normal individual possesses the ability to have a series of reactions that allow him to restore the balance through the deformation of the body itself. These reactions represent the ability of a human body to maintain balance in standing position; if our upper body would be a rigid object instead, it would always be in an unstable condition of balance.