The Role of Kinesiology in Sports Injury Management

The Role of Kinesiology in Sports Injury Management

1. Introduction

Kinesiology deals with the scientific study of the human body in movement. In particular, kinesiology looks at the biomechanical, physiological, and psychological principles and mechanisms of movement that the body undertakes in the process of moving, improving, or performing in a particular environment. Kinesiology, in its entirety, deals with the improvement of the physiological health of the population. That can range from work in improving the health and well-being of an individual, the special population of people with health issues and diseases, to elite-level athletes. This paper examines the specific role of kinesiology in the health and well-being of athletes involved in today’s sporty world. In order to achieve this, the biomechanical principles and mechanisms of movement on an injury will be evaluated. Then, the exploitation of the physiological and psychological kinesiology in the process of managing an injury on an athlete will be studied. Kinesiology, in its entirety, deals with movement. It is a broad subject that includes a variety of disciplines that are involved when the body moves. Movement can range from gross motor movements where large muscle groups are activated to achieve some type of locomotion, to a more complex motor function involving a sequence of events to achieve a particular task. Movement can occur in many different environments and is often a task that has been undertaken to achieve some specific goal. Behavior can also be classified as a part of movement as a series of movements are made to achieve some task. Hereby, all movement in kinesiology can be evaluated by looking at it as a sequence of events resulting in an action. An injury is the damage of the structure or function of the body caused by a part of movement that is not normal, often whereby movement is classified as the sequence of events resulting in an action.

2. Importance of Kinesiology in Sports Injury Prevention

By identifying any issues or abnormalities with the patient’s gait or movement patterns, a kinesiologist can prevent further injury or tissue damage by correcting the issue. For example, if a football player rolls his ankle and later develops knee pain, a kinesiologist will watch the player walk and run to see if his movement has changed due to the pain in his ankle. Often, a person will alter their movement patterns to avoid pain. This places abnormal stress on other parts of the body and can lead to a new injury at that location. In this case, the altered movement due to pain in the ankle could cause an ACL tear in the knee. Through a series of functional tests and analysis of sport-specific movements, a kinesiologist can pinpoint the exact problem and develop a plan to correct the movement pattern and prevent further injury or recurrence of the injury.

Kinesiology is the study of human movement. A kinesiologist is an expert in preventing injury and rehabilitating injuries with a systematic plan of corrective exercises. The goal of the exercises is to return the patient to what they want to do, need to do, or should be able to do, whether it is an occupational, sport, or leisure activity. A patient-specific exercise program will be implemented based on the findings of the assessment.

3. Kinesiology Techniques for Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Kinesiology is traditionally defined as the study of movement; however, the American Kinesiotherapy Association defines it as a field focused on the use of exercises with emphasis on strength, conditioning, and overall health. Kinesiology has a wide variety of different systems to ascertain weak muscles and then strengthen them. Jama describes some of them in great detail, such as postural, and uses some amazing diagrams to educate people. A lot of the techniques they describe utilize pinpoint pressure. This is an assessment system where the injured athlete describes their pain, and the practitioner pushes on different points to find the area that is painful and then applies therapy. This type of technique would be highly beneficial in an occupational health setting. Muscle testing is another very common and well-used kinesiology assessment technique. Muscle testing is used in many different areas of health and fitness, but the way in which kinesiologists use biofeedback with their tests is quite unique. During an injury rehabilitation process, the practitioner will perform all sorts of muscle tests to find the area of weakness and/or pain. This method is extremely useful as it is non-invasive and very accurate, but it also provides instant feedback on the injury status. This is beneficial as it will allow the practitioner and the athlete to set goals on what progress should be made and a timetable for this to happen. Muscle testing also provides a measure of what has been achieved, i.e. if the athlete originally could not perform a certain test or movement but after successful rehabilitation they can. This creates satisfaction for the athlete and a sense of positive achievement. Although the aforementioned is good, positive muscle testing can also be used to monitor treatment and grasp whether a certain technique is effectively improving the injury status.

4. Application of Kinesiology in Sports Injury Diagnosis

Sports injury rehabilitation requires a preparatory period to condition the injured area for the stresses of the later rehabilitation phases. Kinesiological assessment is used to determine the extent and precise location of the injury and the functional implications in later rehabilitation phases. Range of motion around the injury should be tested to determine if a ligamentous sprain or muscle strain is present, using the uninjured limb as a control for comparison. If a significant difference in the passive range of motion is found between the injured and uninjured limb, it would suggest that scar tissue has formed around the muscle or tendon, restricting normal extensibility. Testing of active range of motion gives further indication of the type and location of the injury. If pain-free active range of motion is less than passive range of motion, it would suggest that muscle weakness is present, most likely due to neural inhibition, and that a muscle strain has occurred. Palpation around the injured area should be done to assess pain and further pinpoint the exact location of the injury. Finally, muscle strength testing should be done to determine the strength deficit in the injured area when compared with the uninjured limb. This extensive assessment will give a detailed functional analysis of the injury and provide clear goals for the rehabilitation program.

5. Conclusion

Coaches, athletes, and speculators who come across injuries can truly take something from this essay that could truly benefit them in the future. The role of kinesiology in the management of sports injury is to provide creative methods in developing a way to prevent, diagnose, and treat an injury, as well as offer the fastest and most effective way to get an injured athlete back into play. Kinesiology is truly a unique way to fix or improve a movement-based problem in a person’s body, whether it is improving on an athlete’s acceleration in their game or helping out an elderly person improve their balance and coordination. As stated earlier, the assessment phase is truly the most important point when deciding the health of an individual. If an incorrect diagnosis is made on what injury an athlete has and how severe it is, it can lead to treatment which may worsen the injury or hinder the athlete’s performance in future competitions. This is why it is important to have the most educated and experienced professional team working with an injured athlete. With the extensive number of techniques and methods available in kinesiology, there is a treatment for virtually every injury. Implementation of the treatment can vary quite a bit, depending on the injury and the desired outcome. Step one is to always have pain and inflammation management at the top of the list. The more severe the injury, the longer it will delay progress to the next phase. The ultimate goal of each injury is to guide the tissue through the general phases of healing to the best of the body’s ability. Whether the treatment is a rehabilitation program for a torn ACL or manual therapy for a twisted ankle, kinesiology offers the provision of precise and effective treatment for an injury. The treatment provided for any injury will always offer a way to improve the injury to a better state than the original. This is very important in encouraging an injured individual on their way to recovery. And finally, always in the back of an injured athlete’s mind, there is the eager will to begin their return to normal activity and then to play. With the close monitoring of progress and the guidelines of each specific treatment, kinesiology will give the most realistic and attainable timeline to the return of the desired activity.

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