Everything You Need to Know About Biokinetics

Everything You Need to Know About Biokinetics image

Everything You Need to Know About Biokinetics

BIOKINETICS is defined as the science of movement and the application of exercise in the rehabilitative treatment or sport performance. You will most likely visit a biokineticist in relation to health promotion and preservation or as an athlete or an injured patient. 

What Does a Biokineticist Do?

After studying for five years, one can register as biokineticist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Biokineticists are often labelled as “personal trainers”, this is a bit like calling yourself a computer programmer if you fix a problem on your laptop using Alt, Ctrl, Delete.

Biokineticists also treat individuals with chronic disease conditions. This includes supervised exercise programmes for the prevention and management of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, arthritis, osteoporosis and pregnancy (pre and post-natal).

Biokineticists are specially trained individuals who have qualifications in the science of movement, and so, are experts in getting patients moving again, comfortably and without pain.

A Biokineticist is a clinical exercise specialist who:

  • Functions within professional alliance to other health and medical professionals.
  • Improves a person’s physical wellbeing and quality of life through individualised scientific assessment and the prescription of exercise as rehabilitative treatment, to prevent or compliment treatment of certain disease conditions, and the enhancement of performance (sport and work).
  • Evaluates & Measures: body posture, body composition, blood pressure, glucose levels, lung function, heart rate, fitness, muscle strength, endurance, power, flexibility and other health screenings.

What Areas of Rehabilitation Do Biokinetics Focus On?

Patients that see a biokineticist regularly are usually people with injuries (not necessarily sport injuries), athletes, the elderly, patients with orthopaedic conditions (such as knee pain, back pain, etc.) or people undergoing rehabilitation (after a joint replacement or surgery, for example), or those who just want to live a healthy lifestyle and are not sure where to begin.

Sport specific testing and training of an athlete’s endurance, speed, flexibility, agility, power, strength and reaction times may be conducted, depending on the type of practice, as well as rehabilitation of sport injuries.

Biokinetic tests with a series of machines and instruments are available to determine the range of motion, the strength and functional abilities of each patient. This is particularly helpful to track the progress of a rehabilitation programme and to determine if an athlete is fit enough to return to his or her sport, or compete again. They can also help patients see the progress they have made by implementing exercise and other care instructions.

Is Biokinetics Just For The Elderly and Athletes?

Although Biokinetics first developed as a discipline to assist athletes in their final stage of recovery after an injury, the benefit of exercise proved to be significant in treating or managing a multitude of comorbidities in other chronic disease conditions that is often the result of poor lifestyle habits.   

Anyone can benefit from a visit to a biokineticist. Biokineticists apply exercises clinically to address certain conditions, but are also able to assist in determining a presumably healthy individual’s risks. They do this by prescribing necessary exercises and lifestyle changes in order to improve their quality of life, immune function and prevent disease conditions associated with aging, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle and stress.

What can you expect when visiting a biokineticist for general health promotion?

  • Assessment of health risk factors and implementation of intervention strategies to support the individual toward total wellness.
  • Providing programs for: Weight loss; General fitness; Muscle strengthening; toning and definition.

Exercise during pregnancy is encouraged but certain exercises need to be avoided depending on the stage of your pregnancy and other health risks. These are the things a biokineticist will consider when prescribing the right combination of exercises for you.

Biokinetics or exercise therapy is absolutely essential in fall prevention in the elderly and in assisting them to maintain their independence. Unfortunately, muscle deterioration is a natural process as we age, which increases the risk of getting weaker and contributing to being unstable on our feet and not being able to maintain good balance during normal daily activities. Exercise therapy is therefore aimed at preventing loss of muscle, improving strength with the result of improved balance, preventing a fall often with debilitating consequences.

Exercise is absolutely essential for those in the corporate world and a lot of focus has been placed on “Corporate Wellness” lately. You may have been introduced to a biokineticist in your office, assessing whether your desk set up is ergonomically suited to limit physical stresses as you remain sedentary over your desk day in and day out. But physical stress is not the only stress you should consider, physiological and psychological stress is often ignored but wreaks havoc with your health. Stress, when experienced on a daily basis, has a cumulative negative effect on your health and is the leading cause in many disease conditions. Exercise is one way to combat this stress and a safe exercise prescription by your biokineticist to combat or reverse these effects is a must.

Biokinetics means “Life through movement” and this is our aim, to assist each person in improving their health, quality of life and sport performance with the right type of movement and exercise. If you are not sure what you should be doing in the gym, how much is enough or how to address your specific problems with exercise, then a professional biokineticist like Jacky Hattingh could be the solution you have longed for. Keep calm and keep moving, contact Jacky Hattingh today!

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