What Is Structural Kinesiology?

Amber Michelle

The word "kinesiology" comes kinesis, the Greek word for "movement." It is the study of motion or human movement. Structural kinesiology is the study of muscles as they relate to the science of human movement. The study of this field encompasses all skeletal and muscular structures as they relate to one another and to movement.

Kinesiologists study how muscles relate to movement.
Kinesiologists study how muscles relate to movement.

In the human body, there are more than 300 muscles, more than 200 bones and more than 300 joints. Tendons and ligaments attach bones to muscles and muscles to bones. Joints between bones allow for limited amounts of motion. A student of structural kinesiology should not only know what all of these parts are and how they differ but should understand how they affect one another to create movement in the human body.

Bodily movement is a function of the skeleton and the muscles together, sometimes known as the musculoskeletal system.
Bodily movement is a function of the skeleton and the muscles together, sometimes known as the musculoskeletal system.

Medical doctors and nurses will need to understand structural kinesiology to assess problems that their patients might be having. Athletic and personal trainers should have an extensive background in this field to train athletes and clients, educate them about what is happening in their body as they exercise and let them know when to stop exercise to prevent injury. Massage therapists and physical therapists practice structural kinesiology daily as they help their clients relax, strengthen or rehabilitate their muscles. Injury prevention is another important aspect of any career related to structural kinesiology. Any doctor, trainer or therapist must understand what kind of motion a joint or muscle will normally allow and when it has been pushed too far.

Sports trainers often rely on their knowledge of structural kinesiology to help athletes recover from injury or overexertion.
Sports trainers often rely on their knowledge of structural kinesiology to help athletes recover from injury or overexertion.

Another area of kinesiology that is close to structural kinesiology is anatomic kinesiology. Anatomic kinesiology is the study of the human musculoskeletal and musculotendinous systems. Biomechanics is yet another closely related topic that uses physics to better understand and study human motion. It is not difficult to see that all of these areas are closely related and that studying one area would easily lend to study in another area.

The job of a massage therapist involves structural kinesiology.
The job of a massage therapist involves structural kinesiology.
A kinesiologist may help patients recover from surgery.
A kinesiologist may help patients recover from surgery.
Kinesiologists can teach patients different exercises to help with their rehabilitation at home.
Kinesiologists can teach patients different exercises to help with their rehabilitation at home.

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