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What Is Injury Biomechanics?

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  • Written By: Andrew Kirmayer
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Specific forces can cause different types of injuries to the body. Each part of the body can also respond differently from another, while even various kinds of cells can respond in various ways to impacts and strains. Injury biomechanics generally links tissue damage patterns with the mechanical forces that cause a bone fracture or brain trauma, for example. Various engineering principles are typically used, in accident or crime scenes, to model the sequence of events. Injury biomechanics is often applied to scientific research of brain cells, as well as the prevention and management of athletic injuries.

The scientific fields of biology and mechanical engineering are typically combined in injury biomechanics. Patterns of wounds or fractures, or of displaced clothing or blood stains, can be factored into learning why an injury occurred. The process often involves more than a physical examination; tests such as x-rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Computerized Tomography (CT) scans can help analyze the extent of a person’s injuries. Sometimes details from accident reports, medical histories, and witness accounts are included in the analysis as well.

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Knowledge of how much force can cause a particular injury, and exactly how they need to be applied for damage to occur, is generally essential. Injury biomechanics is often studied by researchers in different biological fields. In the case of traumatic brain injury, scientists have often performed laboratory tests on brain cells to help determine their response to mechanical stress. Special machinery can be used to see how much strain and weight load they can handle. The research has often been applied to the development of protective headgear, using the knowledge of cell tolerances to make computer models of how brain tissue can respond to different forces.

Injury biomechanics is often studied in sports medicine. Many athletic training centers use equipment that is programmed with the ability to analyze the biomechanics of individuals, assess their risk for injury, or help them recover from trauma. Such analysis has also been used for providing certain types of shoes and corrective products for feet, such as orthotics. Proper footwear for particular types of sports is often decided upon using injury biomechanics, which can help prevent injuries and aid in rehabilitation.

Through computer analysis, the correct biomechanics for a particular activity can be applied based on activities and movements that are stressful. Computer modeling, engineering, and anatomy are typically combined. It often requires specialized knowledge in particular fields to understand how to apply injury biomechanics to research, medicine, or forensics.

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