by Richard Blake DPM MS
Most biomechanics texts are very dense. They are filled with theory, formulas, definitions and diagrams. They often have little to directly link them to patient diagnosis and care. This book is different. Practical Biomechanics is as it says, “practical” and straight forward. It is not dependent on long discussions of joint axes or theory. In fact, I’d call it theory agnostic.
But what it does is give you insight into the thinking of someone who has mastered clinical biomechanics. Dr. Blake gives advice on how to approach the injured patient, what factors to look at, and how he approaches problems. He discusses “Occam’s razor” and the “rule of three”. Occam’s razor is a manner of looking for the simplest explanation for what is causing a problem. And the rule of three is Dr. Blake’s idea that there are often more than one factor that needs to be looked at in determining what led to a specific problem.
The book is written with a conversational tone. It has been said that a book is a conversation between the author and the reader. But that is not often said about a book on biomechanics. Perhaps years back, Galileo attempted to model a dialogue while reviewing models, in his “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”. Dr. Blake’s book is easier to follow and there are no arguments about what model to follow.
The book reviews much straight forward thinking. It talks to you and then poses questions. The questions are an important part of the book. Most are not quite standard knowledge. But the answers to the questions and explanations are at the end of the text. They add to your learning how Dr. Blake thinks about the analysis and treatment of the patient.
This is the first book in what is conceived as a four part series. The second book is expected in the fall. The others will follow. If you are a student or a practitioner, this is a book you’ll want to read. It is not a self-help book.
A two part interview was recently conducted over Zoom. I participated in the second part of the interview:
And the first part of the interview was conducted by Ben Pearl of Fit Foot U: