Biomechanics of the Upper Limbs: Mechanics, Modeling and Musculoskeletal Injuries, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Biomechanics of the Upper Limbs

Mechanics, Modeling and Musculoskeletal Injuries, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Andris Freivalds

CRC Press

564 pages | 255 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138073234
pub: 2018-09-18
Hardback: 9781420091199
pub: 2011-02-16
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pub: 2011-02-16
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There is already a wealth of literature covering cumulative trauma disorders and medical management, as well as the biomechanics of manual material handling and lower back problems. However, despite a spike in the number of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMSDs) in the upper limbs—due to a sharp increase in the amount of computer-related jobs—few if any books have focused exclusively on WRMSDs, until now.

Biomechanics of the Upper Limbs: Mechanics, Modeling and Musculoskeletal Injuries, Second Edition offers vital information and tools to improve analysis of external forces and their effects on the human body. This can help ergonomists better understand job stressors and the role they play in the development of disorders, enabling them to modify the work environment and educate practitioners to better control harmful situations.

Using the author’s medical and engineering expertise to distill essential subject matter and useful technical data, this comprehensive text explores:

  • Biomechanics of the upper limbs and the motor control system
  • The structure and physiology of the human musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems
  • Recent research findings and solutions to various ergonomic problems
  • Models of various components of the neuromuscular systems, as well as larger systems in the upper limbs
  • Risk factors for disorders and tools used to identify their causes

Designed as a textbook for a typical semester-long graduate-level engineering or kinesiology course, this book includes a link to an ancillary website that offers materials such as PowerPoint® slides, sample exams, and an instructor's manual with complete solutions. It also serves as a practical, up-to-date, engineering-oriented resource for researchers, industrial ergonomists, industrial hygienists, and medical professionals who require supplementary material.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Biomechanics

What Is Biomechanics?

Basic Concepts

Coordinate Systems

Force Vector Algebra

Static Equilibrium

Anthropometry and Center of Mass Determination



Structure of the Musculoskeletal System

Gross Overview of Movements

Skeletal System

Mechanical Properties of Bone

Soft Connective Tissue


Neuromuscular Physiology and Motor Control

Introduction to Musculature

Structure of Muscle

Basic Cell Physiology

Nervous System

Excitation–Contraction Sequence

Motor Units

Basic Muscle Properties (Mechanics)

Energy, Metabolism, and Heat Production


Reflexes and Motor Control

Modeling of Muscle Mechanics

Laplace Transforms and Transfer Functions

Viscoelastic Theory

Hill’s Muscle Models

Frequency Analysis

Frequency Analysis of Passive Muscle

Hatze’s Multielement Model

Applications of the Hatze Muscle Model

Control Theory and Motor Control

Root-Locus Approach to Muscle Modeling

Models of the Upper Limbs

Anatomy of the Hand and Wrist

Static Tendon-Pulley Models

Dynamic Tendon-Pulley Models

Complex Tendon Models

Two-Dimensional Hand Model

Direct Measurement Validation Studies

Critical Evaluation of Modeling Approaches

Musculoskeletal Disorders and Risk Factors

Extent of the Problem

Common Musculoskeletal Disorders and Their Etiology

Medical Diagnosis and Treatment of MSDs

Epidemiologic Approach to MSDs

Scientific Research and Evidence for Occupational Risk Factors

Scientific Research and Evidence for Psychosocial Risk Factors

Iatrogenesis: A Contrarian View

Legal Issues



Wrist- and Finger-Motion Measurements

Pressure- and Force-Distribution Measurements

Nerve-Conduction Measurements


Job and Worksite Analysis

The Need for Job Analysis

Reliability and Validity of Assessment Tools

Initial Identification of Musculoskeletal Injury Problems

Gross Posture and Task Analyses

Quantitative Upper Limb WRMSD Risk-Assessment Tools

Data-Driven Upper Limb WRMSD Risk Index

Hand Tools


General Biomechanical Considerations of Tools

Handles for Single-Handled Tools

Handles for Two-Handled Tools

Other Tool Considerations

Agricultural and Forestry Tools

Industrial Tools

The Office Environment

General Musculoskeletal Problems

Seated Workplace


Mouse and Other Cursor-Positioning Devices

Notebooks and Handheld PCs

Interventions for Office Work

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Biotechnology
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety