Kinetic chains: a review of the concept and its clinical applications

PM R. 2011 Aug;3(8):739-45. doi: 10.1016/j.pmrj.2011.02.021.


During the past decade, our understanding of biomechanics and its importance in rehabilitation has advanced significantly. The kinetic chain, a concept borrowed from engineering, has helped us better understand the underlying physiology of human movement. This understanding, in turn, has facilitated the development of new and more rational rehabilitation strategies. The kinetic chain concept has application in a wide spectrum of clinical conditions, including musculoskeletal medicine, sports medicine, and neurorehabilitation, as well as prosthetics and orthotics. The purpose of this review is to provide insights into the biomechanics related to the concept of kinetic chains, with a specific focus on closed kinetic chains and its clinical applications in rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Kinesiology, Applied*
  • Kinetics
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Shoulder Pain / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology