Overview of Methods
This reference guide should help you understand my particular system of analysis.
Fascia– To put it most simply and directly, analyzing biomechanics = analyzing fascia. So what are fascia? Let’s ask google-
“Fascia (are) the biological fabric that hold us together. You are about 70 trillion cells all humming in relative harmony; fascia (are) the 3-D spider web of fibrous, gluey, and wet proteins that hold them all together in their proper placement.” https://www.anatomytrains.com/fascia/
(other top google hits with relevant articles- http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/the-top-5-ways-fascia-matters-to-athletes
a clinical perspective (somewhat outdated)-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22852442)
Fascia (I use the term in the plural form) form the network of tissue that surrounds and encases internal organs, muscles, and skin. They exist on 3 planes- the superficial, the deep, and the internal. The superficial layers’ musculature is autonomously controlled (think goosebumps, or when you scare your cat). The deep fascia show both voluntary and involuntary action and are directly connected to striated muscle tissue.
All 3 layers are connected to each other via skin ligaments. The deep and internal levels of fascia are therefore able to be analyzed visually by inspecting the superficial layer.
Biomechanics are determined by fascial linkages. In a perfectly healthy, fully-efficient biomechanical system, all 5 of the major spinal areas (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccyxal) are each able to fire independently, with the other areas remaining at rest. The anterior and posterior spinal systems are also distinct, so there are in fact 10 spinal-associated neuromuscular areas. Wild mammals near-universally show the ability to fire any of these 10 areas independently. The best athletes show similar independence of movement.
However, most modern humans live with permanently compromised fascial systems, so the 10 systems end up interwoven to some degree. A measure of biomechanical efficiency is a measure of the health and independence of these 10 spinal-associated areas.
Efficiency– when a system is fully healthy and independent, blood and lymph flow very quickly on demand. Muscular response time is also near-instant. However, with every fascial blockage, with every linkage to another spinal area, muscular response time (and blood/ lymph flow) decreases on an order of magnitude.
These linkages and blockages derive from unhealed traumas, in combination with incomplete development. They form into fascial networks, which over time determine the mechanical patterns of the underlying muscles.
A measure of fascial efficiency is therefore a measure of the health, maturity, and independence of a spinal-associated area. It is calculated by analyzing the superficial fascia in combination with underlying mechanical patterns. It reflects mechanical force and trajectory, as well as flexibility and response time.
Cervical Efficiency– is a measure of the efficiency of the fascia surrounding the head and neck.
Lumbar Efficiency– is a measure of the efficiency of the fascia below the waist.
Thoracic Efficiency– is a measure of the efficiency of the fascia of the chest/ upper abdomen/ middle and upper back/ shoulders/ arms/ hands.
As with all spinal-associated areas, the three areas listed above are discrete between the anterior and posterior. For the purposes of these analyses, these six areas are then subdivided along medial and lateral mechanical pathways. In total, there are 12 broad measurements applied to each player:
(Anterior and Posterior) (Cervical, Lumbar, and Thoracic), divided along (Medial and Lateral) mechanical pathways.
*Sacral and Coccyxal efficiencies are also relevant to the overall biomechanical model (devoted to internal and sexual functions in humans, respectively), but are left out of these analyses, except indirectly.