Description: This book offers both students and practicing clinicians a handy, concise guide to quickly reference any muscle in the spine or extremities for manual muscle testing.
Purpose: It is intended primarily as a standalone quick reference, offering an overview of the basics of manual muscle testing of each muscle. This objective is a very useful one. Most other manual muscle testing books are larger and contain additional material on theory and research because they serve as teaching tools for those learning the material for the first time. Although this information is very useful, it makes a book much larger than necessary for those who just need a quick guide to the basics of muscle testing.
Audience: Designed for students and clinicians in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training, this book also can be used by other practitioners who perform manual muscle testing on their patients because of its clear and easy-to-follow instructions.
Features: The book begins with the muscles in the cervical spine and upper extremities, then moves down to the trunk and lower extremities. Each motion tested follows the same format: a description of the normal active range of movement, the prime movers associated with that motion, and the secondary movers. With each muscle that is a prime mover there is a description of the origin, insertion, innervation, additional actions, and site of palpation. Antigravity and gravity-minimized positions are described for each muscle. For many of the muscles, the book provides points of interest and/or substitution patterns to be aware of to assist readers in correctly performing the testing. The only limitation of the book is that the muscles of the jaw and face are not included.
Assessment: Overall, this is a good contribution to the field. It is concise, easy to follow, and easy to search for specific muscles and movements to test. Because the book is smaller in size, it is easy to carry in a bag or leave on a desk without taking up a lot of room. This would be a useful tool for any student or clinician who performs manual muscle testing.