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The role of a Biokineticist

A Biokineticist is a healthcare professional who specializes in and utilises human movement and exercise as a form of rehabilitation and performance enhancement. They assess, treat, and train individuals with various medical conditions and injuries, aiming to improve their physical well-being and overall quality of life. The primary focus of a biokineticist is the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries through exercise and physical activity interventions that are tailored to individual’s needs. These exercise interventions focus on improving mobility, flexibility, strength, endurance, and overall physical function.

Biokinetics is multidisciplinary and biokineticists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care to patients. They may work in various settings such as hospitals, rehabilitation centres, sports performance facilities, and private practices. Below are some examples of various sectors of healthcare that biokinetics form part of:

  1. Rehabilitation: Biokineticists are frequently part of rehabilitation teams that include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other specialists where they contribute in exercise prescription and movement analysis to develop integrated rehabilitation programs for patients recovering from injuries, surgeries, or chronic conditions.
  2. Sports Medicine: In the field of sports medicine, biokineticists work with sports physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists, and other professionals. They assist in the management and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries, design conditioning programs, and provide guidance on injury prevention and performance enhancement.
  3. High Performance: Biokineticists may assess the functional abilities of an athlete (biomechanics), and conduct physical fitness assessments to evaluate athlete's physical characteristics and fitness. These assessments provide baseline data, help identify strengths and weaknesses, and guide the development of individualized training programs.
  4. Chronic Disease Management: Biokineticists assist in the management of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity by collaborating with medical doctors, cardiologists, endocrinologists, and other specialists. They develop exercise programs aiming to improve cardiovascular health, manage blood sugar levels, and promote overall well-being.
  5. Pain Management: Biokineticists assist in pain management alongside pain management specialists, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, and psychologists to address chronic pain conditions. They incorporate exercise therapy into pain management plans to improve physical function, reduce pain levels, and enhance overall quality of life.
  6. Geriatric Care: In geriatric care, biokineticists collaborate with geriatricians, occupational therapists, and social workers by focussing on promoting mobility, functional independence, and fall prevention in older adults through personalized exercise programs.
  7. Work and Ergonomics: Biokineticists may also collaborate with occupational health practitioners and ergonomists to assess and modify work environments, design workplace wellness programs, and provide rehabilitation for work-related injuries to optimize worker health and productivity.


With these multidisciplinary fields in mind, biokineticists are involved in the management and rehabilitation of both acute and chronic injuries1,2. They play a crucial role in assessing, treating, and developing exercise programs for individuals with various musculoskeletal conditions. Here are some examples of acute and chronic injuries that biokineticists commonly deal with:

  • Biokineticists assist in the rehabilitation of acute injuries such as sprains (ligament injuries) and strains (muscle or tendon injuries) that commonly occur in sports or accidents where they provide targeted exercises to promote healing, restore range of motion, and regain strength.
  • Biokineticists work with individuals recovering from fractures to aid in the rehabilitation process, where they may develop exercise programs that focus on restoring mobility, strengthening the affected area, and gradually reintroducing functional movements.
  • Biokineticists also play a role in rehabilitating individuals who have experienced joint dislocations, such as shoulder or patella dislocations by implementing exercises to stabilize the joint, improve muscular control, and prevent future dislocations.


In the realm of chronic injuries, Biokineticists assist in the rehabilitation of injuries such as overuse injuries (tendinopathies and stress fractures). In this regard, they assess movement patterns, identify contributing factors, and design exercise programs that promote tissue healing, address biomechanical imbalances, and gradually restore function. Biokineticists are also involved in managing chronic back pain, including conditions like herniated discs, sciatica, and degenerative disc disease. In this instance, they may develop exercise programs that focus on improving spinal stability, strengthening the surrounding muscles, and promoting functional movement. Additionally, Biokineticists assist individuals with osteoarthritis, a chronic degenerative joint condition by designing exercise programs that help manage pain, improve joint function, and maintain or enhance mobility and quality of life.


These examples of the multitude of professional fields and the extensive range of injuries dealt with by biokineticists demonstrates the multidisciplinary nature of biokinetics and how biokineticists collaborate with professionals from various healthcare disciplines. In conclusion biokineticists contributing their unique expertise in human movement and exercise to enhance patient care and outcomes in a variety of different settings and circumstances, making biokinetics a highly flexible and dynamic profession.


Yours in Sports Science,

Sports Science Institute of South Africa



  1. (2023, 08 17). Google. Retrieved from Biokineticssa:
  2. (2023, 08 17). Google. Retrieved from HPCSA: