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International Biokinetics Week

International Biokinetics Week

7 - 10 May 2022

7 - 10 May 2022

Conditions treated
How you can be helped

According to biokinetics’ scope of practice as listed by the Health Professions Council of Namibia, Biokineticists aim to promote physical ability and performance, prevent and rehabilitate certain medical ailments, do body composition analysis, wellness intervention and functional restoration in the following domains:

~ Musculo-skeletal/orthopedic disease, disability and injury of:

  • Knee
  • Ankle
  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Hip
  • Wrist
  • Spinal Column
Orthopaedic rehabilitation is focused on restoring function to the muscular and skeletal systems. Biokinetics concerns itself with the various types of disorders and injuries affecting muscles, bones, and joints. The biokineticist focuses on restoring function and reducing the risk of future injury or degeneration. Scientifically designed protocols are used for each specific condition to progressively increase functional ability. Exercise programs are individually designed for each patient to ensure optimal restoration of functional ability and is supervised to completion.
  • Amputations
  • Muscular/ligament strain
  • Joint replacements
  • Post operative ligament reconstruction
  • Osteo-/rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cervical (upper back/neck) and lumbar (lower back) dysfunction
  • Neurological problems
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Stroke

~ Neuromuscular (brain-to-muscle) disorders and disease

Neuromuscular diseases are a sub group of neurological diseases where nerves controlling movement are affected. It can be either acquired or due to genetics, with diagnosis often complex to establish. Some well known neuromuscular disabilities including multiple sclerosis, post-polio syndrome, and Parkinson’s disease.

Resistance training has been shown to improve motor function in persons with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, and stroke. Resistance and aerobic training improves physical fitness, strength and functional performance and capacity. Regular flexibility training assists with reducing/preventing contractures in people with muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and stroke.

Most NMDs are incurable, however exercise is known to improve quality of life, reduce degradation rate of muscle, improve movement, improve symptoms or co morbidities of the disease, prolong independence and reduce risk of injuries. Exercise not only improves movement and muscle control but also physiology including improved cardiovascular and respiratory function, leading to increased longevity. Furthermore, exercise improves mental wellbeing with social interactions and a sense of accomplishment.

~ Cardiovascular disorders and disease

Cardiac rehabilitation is a customized program of exercise and education designed to help you recover after a heart attack, from other forms of heart disease or after surgery to treat heart disease.

  Cardiac rehabilitation is often divided into phases that involve supervised progressive exercise protocols and other support systems if needed about lifestyle changes to reduce your risks of future problems. The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to help you regain optimal physical functionality and strength after your set back.

~ Pulmonary disease

Endurance training is one of the most important aspect of rehabilitation for patients with chronic pulmonary disease. When effective, the modality of physical reconditioning leads to improved functional capacity. Early intervention is recommended to obtain more meaningful responses. Preparation for effective exercise programs require optimization of respiratory system mechanics, nutritional guidance, and psychological support. Exercise should focus on using a rigorous, scientifically based aerobic exercise prescription that recognizes basic principles of the human response to exercise while considering individual pathophysiological limitations and identifying safety thresholds for exercise participation.

~ Metabolic disorders and disease

Through thorough assessment, education and prescription of scientifically based supervised exercise programs, preventative lifestyle modification strategies are employed to lower mortality in patients with high risk for cardiovascular disease. Many recent studies have shown the risk reversal effect that physical therapy has on risk factors for cardiovascular disease including:
  • Hypertension (High Blood pressure)
  • Type 1 & 2 Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Stress & Depression

A multi-disciplinary approach is crucial to ensure the best outcome. A long-term lifestyle adjustment with the help of doctors, dietitians and other medical professionals play and integral role in preventing heart attack and stroke.

~ Psychological disorders

According to the Mental Health Foundation, physical activity can improve your mental wellbeing. Physical activity is defined as any body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than required while being at rest.

Exercise is a type of physical activity consisting of planned or structured work outs. Lifting weights, doing aerobics or bootcamps and playing on a sports team are examples of exercise.

Research has shown that physical activity releases chemicals in your brain – chemicals responsible for making you feel good and energized, boosting your self-esteem, improving concentration and sleeping patterns.

Exercise can be a great way to meet new people. It also offers the chance of taking a well-deserved break from the responsibilities of daily life and focusing on your own wellbeing

Leading an active life can help to improve your feelings of self-worth and boost confidence.

A few psychological benefits of exercising

  • less tension, stress and mental fatigue
  • natural energy boosts
  • improved sleep
  • a sense of achievement
  • focus in life and motivation
  • less anger, frustration or feelings of depression
  • better social life – having fun

Exercise and Depression
Depression is a common, potentially debilitating condition characterised by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure and feelings of guilt or low self worth. Depression may also manifest as disturbances in sleep, concentration, appetite, or as persistent fatigue. Symptoms of depression may occur alone, or concurrently with chronic illness, such as diabetes, or subsequent to chronic injury. Major depression is associated with an increased likelihood of early mortality, primarily due to cardiometabolic disease.

People who undertake regular physical activity or exercise, even at very low levels, are less likely to experience symptoms of depression and are less likely to experience future depressive episodes. Exercise has an effect on depressive symptoms and may be as effective as psychological or pharmaceutical therapies for some individuals. Perhaps more importantly, regular physical activity and exercise are well-established strategies for weight management, improving diabetes control and reducing the impact of cardiovascular disease that often occurs in mental illness including depression.

~ Other areas of intervention include:

High Performance:

Assessment in the form of team or individual performance testing is used to gage the level of fitness, skill, agility, speed, power etc. Intervention programs are then developed to improve elements that tested below the norm or that needs to be specifically improved for optimal performance in a specific sport.

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Childhood Obesity

is becoming a major concern today. Children are less active due to less time spend outside. This is due to various causes, some of which are things like less required sport participation, safety concerns and today's television and internet culture. The lack of physical conditioning amongst children also lends itself to under developed motor skills, muscular strength, endurance, balance and coordination. These factors have a huge impact on academic achievement, sport participation and achievement, concentration, weight management and self image. The Biokineticist addresses the specific needs of children of different ages in order to improve their physical profile. We work in conjunction with various other professions including occupational therapists, doctors, dietitians to ensure the optimal physical development of your child.

Kinesio Taping:

Some Biokineticists are qualified to use and apply kinesio tape.
What Does Kinesio Taping Do?
Kinesio Taping gives support and stability to your joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion. It can be used preventative, for maintenance, for edema control and for pain management. Kinesio Taping is a technique based on the body's own natural healing process. Taping exhibits its efficacy through the activation of neurological and circulatory systems. Muscles are not only attributed to the movements of the body but also control the circulation of venous and lymph flows, body temperature, etc. Therefore, the failure of the muscles to function properly induce various kinds of symptoms.
Consequently, so much attention was given to the importance of muscle function that the idea of treating the muscles in order to activate the body's own healing process came about. Using an elastic tape, it was discovered that muscles and other tissues could be helped by outside assistance. Employment of Kinesio Taping creates a totally new approach to treating nerves, muscles, and organs.

Physical Selection

is a scientific assessment of the workplace to place manual laborers in specific areas based on their physical attributes. The job description of a specific occupation requires specific physical characteristics to ensure the worker’s ability to perform the task at hand successfully and productively.

The aim is to reduces the risk of injury to employees in order to create a healthier workforce with less absenteeism. Employers are then able to measure the workers suitability for a specific task.

Ergonomics is also considered part of physical selection and focuses on the office worker. It is defined as the science of designing the job, equipment, and workplace to fit the worker. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability. Ergonomics involves workstation set-up and design, body posture evaluation and prevention of computer-related injuries and more. Ergonomics is employed to fulfill the two goals of health and productivity.

Corporate Wellness:

Health and productivity management is essential in today's corporate environment. Many recent studies have shown that healthier employees equate to a healthier bottom line and thus corporations have started to implement a Workplace Health Program (WHP). As health-care costs continue to soar and take a larger bite out of company profits, WHP inevitably will become a key cost-containment strategy for most small-to-medium corporations as well. Typical risk factors targeted include:
  • High Cholesterol levels
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity/high body fat
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
Corporate wellness focusses of determining a company’s health profile. Management and staff health assessments are done to determine health status, risk factors and lifestyle habits. This in conjunction with dietary profiles provide comprehensive information valuable in wellness intervention strategies.
  Biokineticists work as part of a multiprofessional team to individualize the program for your company and determine the best possible strategies to be employed to ensure optimal productivity and health of your employees. 

In Becoming a Biokeneticist?