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Human Biomechanics – how our bodies really work!

Despite how the body may be portrayed in anatomy charts or how it is usually trained in the gym with body-building inspired workouts, the human body is a linked system of connected (interdependent) parts. For example, an injury at the ankle effects how the muscles of the hips work, which in turn can impact the opposite shoulder.

This model explains nicely the concept of Regional Interdependence. 
To summarise the above picture:
Here’s an example that commonly presents at our practice – LOWER BACK PAIN in office workers. In this day and age, a vast number of people spend much of the day sitting at a computer or in meetings for hours on end. Most of us sit with somewhat of a slouched posture, or even a slight slump (flexed posture), which is enough to cause changes to our spines. By spending large amounts of time with a flexed lower back it starts to loosen up and we lose the necessary stability in the lower back. Because the spine needs stability the body then compensates by stiffening and reducing mobility at the hips and through the thoracic spine (upper back), i.e. the segments above and below the lower back. This occurs because the body looks to the joints above and below to provide the missing stability when a stable joint has lost tension/stability.Unfortunately this results in a positive feedback loop (a vicious cycle) – as the hips and upper back become stiffer and less mobile it becomes easier for the person with lower back pain to move through their lower back. The more the person moves through that area, the looser and more painful it becomes because of sheering forces on the joints. As a result, the hips and upper back become stiffer and less mobile.

Professor Stuart McGill, the world’s foremost spine biomechanics researcher, says “people deserve their pain”. This is a harsh way of saying that the way our bodies move (movement pattern) reinforces our pain. In order to resolve low back pain we not only have to strengthen the appropriate muscles and structures (for STABILITY), while loosening and releasing others (for MOBILITY), but also re-train movement to make these changes stay.

Central Performance’s Biomechanical Assessment 

At Central Physio and Performance Fitness we offer a Biomechanical Assessment designed to identify which areas of the body are not moving in the way they should be. These inefficient movement patterns may be at the root of your injury.  The Biomechanical Assessment will help identify whether it is a loss of stability, mobility or control at a joint or multiple joints.

The Biomechanical Assessment  is comprised of two different movement assessments – the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) and Functional Movement Screen (FMS). The SFMA is the more clinical and diagnostic of the two assessments and utilises the above mention model of Regional Interdependence to determine whether you have appropriate levels of stability and mobility at each joint. The FMS is the more dynamic of the two assessments and used to screen for asymmetries and dysfunctions in 7 basic movement patterns scored between 0 and 3. The FMS is commonly used by professional sporting teams in a variety of sports including the NBA, NFL and NRL as well as having been used and researched by the U.S. Armed Forces, the police force and fire services. Research has found that a score below 14 correlates with a 3 times greater injury risk during physical activity.

This Biomechanical Assessment is performed by our accredited exercise physiologist, Hugh Campbell. Hugh is highly trained in the SFMA and FMS processes, but more importantly is skilled in developing a treatment program based on his findings. For some people this may consist of some heavy hands-on manual therapy with the physios and massage therapist to release and mobilise stiff joints before moving onto exercise with the exercise physiologist to gain control of the new movement. For other people it may require little to no physio treatment and can start straight away with our exercise physiologist on a corrective exercise program before graduating to performance enhancement training with our personal trainers.

As part of our Biomechanical Assessment you will receive a free second session with Hugh where he will talk you through the findings of the screenings and establish a personalised exercise program to target problem areas and work towards your goals.

The Biomechanical Assessment is appropriate for anyone of any age, fitness or sporting level.

A biomechanical assessment would be suitable for you if you:

  • have been suffering from recurrent or chronic pain
  • have suffered from an injury and need to rebuild strength or mobility
  • want to develop a program to return to exercise when you have not been training recently
  • have postural issues
Price: $104
Included – 1hour Assessment plus 45 minute follow-up session
Hugh Campbell 
ESSA Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Certified Weight Lifting/Sports Power Coach  
Hugh has always been a sports fanatic and harboured a deep interest in how the body works. This fascination with sport & physical performance led him to study a Bachelor of Exercise Physiology from UNSW, which he completed in 2012. Now, as an Exercise Physiologist he loves to build a relationship with his clients & assist them through the Central Performance Restore phase of their treatment. It’s extremely fulfilling for him to watch them not only overcome their chronic injuries but also help them reach new levels of physical performance they previously thought unattainable.To provide the best possible service to his clients, Hugh has continued with furthering his education and is undertaking a Masters of Exercise Science (Strength & Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University. He has also competed the Australian Weightlifting Federation Level 1 coaching, Function Movement Screen Level 2 & Selective Functional Movement Assessment Level 1 qualifications. In addition he has developed & currently delivers the strength & conditioning program from the UNSW cricket club.If you have any questions regarding the Biomechanical Assessment and whether it is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact Hugh at the clinic.