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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Dana J Lawrence, DC, MMedEd, MA (Palmer College of Chiropractic)
Description: This book is designed to provide an integrated discussion of the rehabilitation of back pain, examining general concepts, assessment and management, and functional considerations. By design, it shies away from discussions concerning specific physical therapy procedures, devoting itself to an examination of the overall problem of back pain rehabilitation.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is to serve as a guide to the process of back pain rehabilitation, integrating topics and concepts to provide a generalized conceptual basis for physical therapy rehabilitation. Thus, there are three broad sections to the text: rehabilitation, assessment and management strategies, and functional considerations.
Audience: The audience is practicing physical therapists. This book will be less useful to students, because the topic areas are in some ways clinical in nature and in some ways very basic-science-oriented. Secondary audiences could include physiatrists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and even orthopedists and orthopedic surgeons.
Features: The book is well illustrated, with photographs and line drawings illustrating points made in the text. The reproduction of the photographs suffers from poor paper quality, though this may be a factor in the book's modest price. There are sufficient up-to-date references, most of which come directly from physical therapy literature. References from other appropriate disciplines are few (i.e., chiropractic literature or osteopathic literature). The index is complete for the size of the book.
Assessment: Although individual chapters are interesting by themselves and provide sufficient information, the book falls short of adequately integrating the varied topics covered. The first section examines basic treatment concepts, exercise for lower back pain, and rehabilitation after surgery; the second section looks at psychological assessment, chronic pain treatment, and managing symptom magnification; the final section details muscle fatigue in lower back pain, functional capacity evaluation, and quantification outcomes, and it provides a chapter on use of trunk dynamometers. These sections don't flow well into one another and don't always relate to one another, thus hurting topic integration. There are nuggets of useful information in each chapter, however. It is unlikely that all chapters will be of use to any one reader, but there is enough information on the book to make it a worthy addition to the library of any physical therapist. It will be of less use to other practitioners, because it fails to discuss issues unique to those professions. It is modest in scope and meets most of the goals set for it by the author. A second edition may very well benefit by adding material on specific techniques so that those techniques can be placed into the broad context presented in this book.