The Kinetic chain and injury

Comprehending kinetic chain concepts is necessary to completely understand both normal and abnormal human movement. “Dr. Steindler contended that the human body could be viewed the same way, as a system of rigid, overlapping segments connected by a series of joints, collectively referred to as the kinetic chain.”- (American council on exercise, January 8,2018). Movement at one link in the Kinetic chain, affects motion at another link these overlapping segments are connected to allow movement at one segment to affect another (National Strength & Conditioning Association, June, 2017). The lower kinetic chain includes the toes, feet, ankles, knees, upper legs, pelvis/hips, and spinal column. The upper kinetic chain consists of the fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows, upper arms, shoulder girdle, cervical spine, capitis/atlas, and jaw. Considering and explaining the motions that occurs at all these joints, in all planes of movement, is paramount to understanding movement and movement transformation. These article highlights several key areas of biomechanics, physics, anatomy, and physiology that influence movement and injury.

Ground reaction force influences joints as the force passes across the joints at various phases of gait (Zhao, Guoping, Grimmer, Martin, Seyfarth, Andre, 2021, 2021,11,2018). Earth’s atmosphere is pressing against each square inch of us with a force equal to about 1 kilogram per square centimeter (14.7 pounds per square inch). Our body mass index, bone density, lifestyle, diet, degree of inflammatory biomarkers, emotional state, sleep patterns, thoughts, injury and surgical history, all influence how the brain perceives these specific but individual joint actions. The language of the brain is one or two things, weather the plane specific joint action is “safe” to tolerate ground reaction force or “unsafe” and intolerant to ground reaction force.

Musculoskeletal abnormality such as injury or muscular imbalance at one segment or link a in the chain can force other links to adapt to their motion. These compensatory movements are because of adaptations at a normal link as a result of an abnormal motion at another link in order that a task can still be accomplished. Awareness of compensatory movement is important for two main reasons: 1) the intended movement task will probably now require more energy than before because it is no longer being carried out with the use of the most efficient movement pattern; and 2) changes in force loading patterns on the compensating link can eventually lead to musculoskeletal abnormalities in other areas of the chain that may seem unrelated. Compensatory movement arising from stress, injury or muscular imbalance not only make activities more difficult, but, possibly will result in other injuries. Thorough knowledge and understanding of the Kinetic chain is needed when dealing with any individual client or patient who is experiencing some sort of abnormality in their movement.


  3. Zhao, Guoping, AU – Grimmer, Martin, Seyfarth, Andre, 2022, 2021/11/18

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