Biomechanics of Rehabilitation

Understanding biomechanics can you improve the effectiveness of rehabilitative treatments for those with limited mobility.

Millions of people live with conditions, such as osteoarthritis, low back pain, and Parkinson's disease, which limit their mobility. Physical rehabilitation provides exercises and devices to help these individuals regain their mobility and improve their quality of life. Biomechanics of Movement explains the biological and biomechanical concepts, such as muscle activation dynamics and moment arms; understanding these concepts can help you design more effective rehabilitation treatments. These concepts are beautifully illustrated by research-based examples rooted within rehabilitation, reflecting Scott Delp's years of conducting biomechanics research for rehabilitation.


Exoskeletons are built to help patients with stroke and spinal cord injury regain the ability to walk. Chapters 2 and 11 explain the principles of walking, how we coordinate our muscles to walk efficiently, and how we can design devices and treatments to restore mobility.

Crouch gait

Some children with cerebral palsy walk with a crouch gait, which can lead to fatigue and knee pain. Chapter 11 discusses muscle-driven simulations of walking and highlights their use to assess the impact of different interventions, such as surgery, physical therapy, and braces, on those with movement impairments, like the children who walk with a crouch gait.


[Figure: left-hand panel of Figure 5.10] Functional electrical stimulation applies small electrical pulses to activate muscles (left) and generate movement in individuals with paralysis. However, externally applied electrical signals recruit muscle motor units differently than the body does, resulting in less effective movement. Chapter 4 describes muscle biology and forces that explain this effect.

Biomechanics of Movement

The Science of Sports, Robotics, and Rehabilitation

by Thomas K. Uchida and Scott L. Delp
Illustrations by David Delp

Here you will find resources to deepen your knowledge of biomechanics and connect you with the vibrant communities and technologies that are redefining the field.


Published by MIT Press