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a method of treatment that consists in performing physical exercises on apparatus that are specially constructed to develop movements in certain joints.

The founder of medical mechanotherapy was the Swedish physician J. G. Zander (1835–1920). The use of apparatus of various systems in mechanotherapy is grounded in the biomechanics of joint movement. Movements are strictly localized, in conformity to the given joint or group of muscles. The apparatus offer resistance (weight), which, as it increases or decreases, modifies the stress on the joint in question. Special devices make it possible to change the speed of rhythmically produced movements. Exercises are characterized by automatization of the movements, thereby eliminating the coordinative influence of the central nervous system. Mechanotherapy has no independent value. It is chiefly used in conjunction with physical therapy for its effect on certain parts of the skeletomuscular system.


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