How can Kinesiology help you manage chronic conditions?

Published Mar 30, 2024 • By Somya Pokharna

Kinesiology is a fascinating field of study that goes far beyond the realm of mere physical activity. It delves into the intricacies and dynamics of how our bodies move, shaping our understanding of biomechanics and overall health.

So, what exactly is Kinesiology? How does it contribute to the management of chronic conditions? Does it have any risks or limitations?

Leap into this article to find out!

How can Kinesiology help you manage chronic conditions?

What is Kinesiology?

Kinesiology, derived from the Greek words "kinesis" (movement) and "logos" (study), is the scientific study of how our bodies move and function. It comprises anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and psychology and seeks to unravel the mysteries of our body's motion, from the way we walk and run to how we lift objects and play sports.

By dissecting movement patterns, kinesiology helps us improve our physical abilities, prevent injuries, and recover from them faster. It's like a blueprint for our bodies, showing us how muscles, bones, and joints work together to perform tasks. Kinesiology isn't just about exercise or sports—it's about everyday movements too, like bending down to pick something up or sitting at a desk. By learning about kinesiology, we can make smarter choices about how we move, leading to better overall health and well-being.

While there is some overlap between kinesiology and physiotherapy, they are distinct fields with different focuses and approaches. Kinesiology is more concerned with the study of human movement from a scientific perspective, whereas physiotherapy is a clinical profession aimed at applying therapeutic techniques to improve movement and function in individuals with physical impairments. However, individuals with a background in kinesiology may pursue further education and training to become physiotherapists.

How does kinesiology contribute to the management of chronic conditions?

Kinesiology can provide a range of advantages for individuals navigating chronic illnesses:

Exercise as Medicine

Kinesiology focuses on using exercise as powerful medicine for chronic conditions. Studies show exercise helps lessen symptoms and improve outcomes for various chronic illnesses, like heart health, blood sugar control, and pain relief.

Kinesiologists collaborate with patients to design personalized exercise regimens tailored to their specific needs, abilities, and limitations. Through targeted exercises, individuals can build strength, improve flexibility, and enhance cardiovascular fitness, thereby better managing their chronic conditions and improving their overall quality of life. 

Functional Movement Assessment:

Kinesiology's role in managing chronic conditions includes assessing how well the body moves. Instead of just looking at symptoms, kinesiologists dig deeper to find any movement problems that might make chronic illnesses worse.

Through these assessments, kinesiologists can find weak spots, imbalances, or patterns that might lead to injury or worsen chronic conditions. With this knowledge, they can create personalized plans to improve movement, prevent worsening conditions, and boost overall function.

Chronic Pain Management:

Chronic pain is common in many chronic conditions, greatly affecting quality of life. Kinesiology provides new ways to manage pain beyond traditional medications. With methods like therapeutic exercise, manual therapy, and neuromuscular re-education, kinesiologists help people regain control over pain and do daily activities better.

By fixing underlying biomechanical issues, improving muscle strength and endurance, and optimizing movement, kinesiology can reduce pain, boost mobility, and improve overall function in those with chronic conditions.

Changing Behavior and Lifestyle

Kinesiologists stress the importance of changing behavior and lifestyle in managing chronic conditions. They educate, motivate, and support individuals to adopt healthy habits like regular exercise, good nutrition, stress management, and enough sleep.

By encouraging lasting behavior change, kinesiologists help people actively manage chronic conditions and promote long-term health.

How to find a qualified kinesiologist?

To find a qualified kinesiologist, start by checking with professional organizations and registries that list certified practitioners in your area. In many countries, kinesiologists are required to be registered with a regulatory body that ensures they have the necessary education, training, and credentials. Websites of associations such as the American Kinesiology Association (AKA) can be valuable resources.

Additionally, referrals from healthcare providers, such as your primary care physician or a physiotherapist, can also lead you to qualified kinesiologists who specialize in managing chronic conditions. When selecting a kinesiologist, consider their area of expertise, experience with your specific condition, and any reviews or testimonials from previous patients. It's also a good idea to schedule a consultation to discuss your goals and see if their approach aligns with your needs.

Are there any risks or limitations of kinesiology?

Kinesiology should complement, not replace, traditional medical treatments prescribed by healthcare professionals. Some conditions may require more than exercise and movement strategies, including medication or surgery. Overexertion or inappropriate exercises can lead to injuries, especially if not supervised by a qualified professional. Patients should always consult their doctor before starting a new exercise regimen, especially those with severe or unstable conditions.

It's also crucial for kinesiologists to work closely with the patient's healthcare team to tailor interventions that are safe and effective, considering any physical limitations or risks. By combining expertise from professionals in various areas, such as medicine, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and nutrition, kinesiologists can ensure comprehensive care that meets the diverse needs of those with chronic conditions.

Key Takeaways

Kinesiology, the study of human movement, helps us understand and improve how we move, aiming to boost health and prevent injuries. It's vital not just for athletes, but for everyone, as it touches on daily activities and overall wellness. This field is particularly beneficial for managing chronic conditions, using exercise as therapy, enhancing how our bodies function, and offering ways to manage pain and make positive lifestyle changes. By integrating kinesiology with traditional treatments, individuals can better manage chronic illnesses, leading to an improved quality of life.


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