by: Keke Lyles, DPT, CSCS
Okay, so I can understand as a strength coach not learning about Biorheology, but getting my doctorate in physical therapy, I would have thought for sure this would have been learned somewhere along the way. So what is it? Biorheology is the study of the flow and deformation of biological materials. As most athletic trainers or physical therapy students we had to take some form of physics. We all learned about Newton’s and Hooke’s laws and hopefully something about how air and water play a role within those laws. And more importantly we hopefully learned how it is connected to the human body. The human body is an engineering masterpiece, so of course we can learn a lot from physics and apply it to our assessments and daily treatments. But we can’t learn everything from Newton and Hooke.
The body is not merely air and water. It is made up of blood, plasma, interstitial fluid, synovial fluids, skin, tendons, muscles, vessels and etc. And these bodily materials do not behave the same as typical materials. So in order to become engineers of the body we need to read and learn more about Biorheology, so as care providers we can actually understand the demands placed on the tissues that we are working on, and how exactly they handle the stresses placed upon them. Start with reading the Journal of Biorheology. Consider understanding physiological processes at a molecular level when treating your next patient.