Sunday, August 3, 2008

Support for the kinetic link principle.

Techniques are worthless unless they are grounded in sound principle and driven by strategy. Remember, I’m not some internet guru trying to sell you his junk. I’m a real life ATC who works at the largest high school in N.J. I’m accountable to athletes, parents, coaches, athletic directors, and principals. I get evaluated on the job I do. And usually (not always) chain reaction biomechanics is the most time efficient, and provides the best results. But that’s just me yapping. What does the evidence say?

Last March, an article appeared in JOSPT entitled, “Regional interdependence- a musculoskeletal examination model whose time has come.” There are many practitioners out there who are taking credit for discovering it. However, it’s nothing new. The earliest scientific dissertation on the subject came way back in 1875. German engineer Hans Reuleaux described how movement at one joint produced movement at another mechanical link elsewhere in the chain.

Kinesiologist Alex Steindler, in 1955, was the first to apply it to the human body. I believe he was the first to use the terms, “open & closed chain”. Finally, in 1964, EP Hanavan put together a working computerized mathematical model of the human body that substantiated the process did indeed occur in vivo. Humm. Maybe my critics are right- I really am old school!

The idea took off in the ‘60’s thanks to kenesiologists Logan & McKinney, who were the first to describe the concept of the “serape effect” (I’ll get into that in a future post). In the mid 70’s sports scientists seem to focus their attention on technology, and the machine era was born. Hence Cybex, KinCom, the isokinetic movement.

Thankfully, in the 90’s the kinetic link concept was revived by physical therapists Gary Gray & UConn’s Dave Tiberio. Chicago White Sox strength coach Vern Gambetta was the first to give the concept practical athletic applications. On the orthopedic front, Ben Kibler has also done great research to validate the superiority of the kinetic link concept over others. Today, functional training & rehabilitation is the term used to describe the kinetic link system applied to sports therapy.

A word of caution: many practitioners will represent themselves as functional therapists, especially on the internet. They have mis-interpreted the research and therefore mis-apply the concepts. Stick to the names mentioned above if you care to research the subject further. I’ve worked personally with several of them, and I can tell you they are the real deal. Well OK, not the guys from the 1800’s :)

No comments: