Applications of Statics to Biomechanics

  • Nihat Özkaya
  • Margareta Nordin


The human body is rigid in the sense that it can maintain a posture, and flexible in the sense that it can change its posture and move. The flexibility of the human body is due primarily to the joints, or articulations, of the skeletal system. The primary function of joints is to provide mobility to the musculoskeletal system. In addition to providing mobility, a joint must also possess a degree of stability. Since different joints have different functions, they possess varying degrees of mobility and stability. Some joints are constructed so as to provide optimum mobility. For example, the construction of the shoulder joint (balland socket) enables the arm to move in all three planes (triaxial motion). However, this high level of mobility is achieved at the expense of reduced stability, increasing the vulnerability of the joint to injuries, such as dislocations. On the other hand, the elbow joint provides movement primarily in one plane (uniaxial motion), but is more stable and less prone to injuries than the shoulder joint. The extreme case of increased stability is achieved at joints that permit no relative motion between the bones constituting the joint. The contacting surfaces of the bones in the skull are typical examples of such joints.


Patellar Tendon Muscle Force Achilles Tendon Ground Reaction Force Elbow Joint 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nihat Özkaya
    • 1
  • Margareta Nordin
    • 1
  1. 1.Occupational and Industrial Orthopaedic Center, Hospital for Joint Diseases Orthopaedic InstituteNew York University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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