Biomechanics 101

Biomechanics researchers investigate how the musculoskeletal system interacts with external forces and environmental stimuli.
The accumulated data is applied in fields such as sports science, ergonomics, gait evaluation, physical rehabilitation and the performing arts.

Noraxon has dedicated more than 25 years to EMG, Kinetics and Kinematic Research.

The First Biomechanics Inventions

Enlightenment: A.D. 1600 – Scientists begin to express physical reality through mathematics. The scientific method is born, and new physical laws are defined that govern how objects move. New tools such as analytical geometry and 3D coordinate systems are applied to human physical functioning. But it would still take 200 more years before science could analyze human movement using reliable scientific data.

Industrial Revolution: A.D. 1800s – With the advent of the bicycle in 1817, people become interested in the true nature of biomechanics. New mechanical devices measure time, position, force and more. Enter photography, and the first optical motion cameras study human and animal movement. The first 3D gait analysis is performed in Germany in the 1890s but takes years to analyze the data mathematically using only pen and paper.

Dr. Richard “Dick” Nelson first established Penn State’s Biomechanics Lab in 1967 in the building on the University Park campus known as the “Water Tower,” which was later renamed the Biomechanics Teaching Lab. There, a number of groundbreaking activities took place that would eventually shape the field of biomechanics into what it is today.

Today, researchers and clinicians around the world rely on Noraxon myoMETRICS Lab for precision, ease-of-use, and a fully integrated data analysis platform.

The Modern Science of Biomechanics

Digital Revolution: A.D. 1945-60  –  After World War II, new computers analyze large quantities of data in shorter amounts of time. Now it takes only a few minutes to calculate the results of a movement study.

The Lab: A.D. 1960-2000 –   Movement analysis labs are established at hospitals and universities, and commercial measurement equipment hits the market. However, experiments still must be set up and performed in the controlled setting of a laboratory. Equipment is large, bulky and expensive, and it must sit in one place to maintain proper calibration. Subjects are connected to cumbersome leads and cables that often interfere with movement.

A Fully Integrated Platform Streamlines Workflow

Research Without Walls:
Any Data. Anywhere.

Mobile Technology Revolution: A.D. 2000 to Present –  The mobile revolution brings a new wave of advancements in the study of biomechanics. Wireless sensing and advanced data capture technologies allow for unencumbered, natural movement, enabling a vast range of movement-analysis applications outside of the lab. As a result, data is more precise, and analysis is more meaningful.