Kinesiology is commonly considered a complementary health science, which can be used in accompaniment with medicinal or physical health treatments—such as physiotherapy. In the simplest terms, kinesiology is the study of movement in the musculoskeletal system. The knowledge gained from this study is used to correctly identify any improperly functioning muscles and bones.
Students earning their physiotherapist assistant diploma know that physiotherapy is designed to manage a patient’s existing injuries by applying routines that optimize muscle movement and physical activity. It’s no surprise then, that kinesiology is commonly confused with physiotherapy. Kinesiologists often work with physiotherapists to treat patients.
Read on to discover exactly what kinesiology is, and how it can be used hand in hand with physiotherapy to rehabilitate patients.
Physiotherapist vs. Kinesiologist
While physiotherapists address a patient’s mobility issues, a kinesiologist’s job is to study the mechanics of the human body, and determine why certain body parts may function incorrectly. Kinesiologists are often employed in medical research industries, researching the various complications of the human musculoskeletal system. In contrast, physiotherapists focus specifically on hands-on treatments to target issues with physical movement.
Kinesiology for Injury Prevention
The main objective of kinesiology is to prevent injuries from occurring, through the promotion of physical activity and healthy body choices. This is different from a physiotherapist, who works with patients to rehabilitate their bodies after an injury has already occurred.
Kinesiologists know that regular physical therapy can actively work to reduce a patient’s risk of injury and chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Through the promotion of physical activity, kinesiology also helps strengthen muscles and bones, improve mental health, and even help extend the independence of elderly patients.
How is Kinesiology Used in Physiotherapy?
Students taking physiotherapist assistant courses might be wondering: what does kinesiology have to do with my area of study? While injury prevention is one goal of kinesiology, so is injury management and performance enhancement. Physiotherapists will often use kinesiology in their patient treatments, or even have kinesiologists on their rehabilitation team along with physiotherapist assistants. A kinesiologist’s expertise in the function of the human body is of indispensable value in the treatment of a patient’s injuries.
Professionals entering a physiotherapist assistant career have likely heard of Kinesio taping. Kinesio taping is often used in physiotherapy specifically for treating athletic injuries. This special tape, which is similar in texture and elasticity to human skin, works to give support and stability to muscles and joints. The technique for applying the tape to the body is based on knowledge of the placement of muscles, the flow of the circulatory system and the locations of other musculoskeletal systems that are featured in kinesiology.
What do you know about kinesiology? How will you apply your knowledge of kinesiology to the treatment of patients?