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From The CriticsReviewer: Dana J Lawrence, DC, MMedEd, MA (Palmer College of Chiropractic)
Description: This book describes several manual physical medicine procedures used for treating problems in all areas of the spine. It begins with a chapter describing general concepts, emphasizing diagnosis as well as three separate approaches: mobilization, manipulation, and muscle energy technique. The remaining three chapter discuss the cervical spine and upper limb, thoracic spine and chest wall, and lumbosacral spine and lower limb; for each chapter, clinical features are described first, and then the main part of each chapter is an exposition of techniques used for treatment.
Purpose: This text grew out of a need for rural practitioners in Australia to have information using conservative means to treat and manage musculoskeletal conditions, especially spinal problems. It is the result of a request to develop a national course on back pain and spinal manipulation, as originally presented in the journal, Australian Family Physician. It is a reference text for students and practitioners that has as its primary aim the presentation of a diagnostic approach to back pain and its treatment by physical modalities.
Audience: The audience is primarily rural practitioners in Australia, but because that is a small market it will also appeal to medical manipulators and physiatrists, physical therapists, osteopaths, and chiropractors. Students will find this more useful than practitioners will because it is relatively basic in approach and content.
Features: The text contains a large number of high-quality photographs and line drawings that help to illustrate the delivery of each physical technique. These are also used to demonstrate key concepts. Each chapter takes the approach of first discussing clinical matters before describing the various forms of technique used to treat those clinical problems.
Assessment: I think this does a good job of presenting an overview of the various forms of therapy it describes. I do think that students will find such a book particularly helpful. The authors were trained by two leading medical manipulators, Robert Maigne and James Cyriax, and their approach does show signs of their mentors. There is no real mention of chiropractic manipulation, even though chiropractors are acknowledged masters in this subject, and there are no citations to chiropractic literature. I consider this a significant omission. As a result, the book will appeal less to that profession.