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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Sharon V. Feldmann, MS, PT (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
Description: This is a practical clinical reference in which muscle function, innervation, and anatomy are described, as well as muscle strength testing positions and procedures. It is clear the editors intend it be used in a clinical setting. They provide organized and consistent written directions for testing procedures for each muscle in the body. Also, individual muscles and testing positions are pictured with artwork and photographs.
Purpose: The editors describe two specific goals for the readers of this book. The first is for the reader to learn the basic science of muscle function including muscle innervation, muscle origins and insertions, muscle actions in both open and closed chain dynamics, and muscle synergists and intagonists. The second goal is for the reader to master the practical application of manual muscle testing in a clinical context. The editors make the point that the book is not intended to replace more detailed anatomic and kinesiologic study, but is rather a practical guide to be used in a specific clinical context.
Audience: This text is written for entry-level clinicians new to the field of muscle testing (physicians, therapists) as well as experienced clinicians who need guidance as to specific areas of testing (e.g., pediatrics.) The text is written from a rehabilitation perspective.
Features: In the main portion of the text contributors systematically describe each major muscle in the body, its origin, insertion, innervation, actions, and then specific muscle testing instructions. Each muscle is featured on a two-page spread; along with the written descriptions is a drawing of the muscle in the resting anatomic position as well as a photograph of the muscle test position. Chapters are organized by body region. Each muscle description includes interesting features such as frequent mistakes or "pitfalls" in testing for that description. With "Clinical Pearls" contributors offer insight into each muscle such as tips to finding the muscle, common clinical problems seen with the specific muscle, frequent substitution patterns, common responses to testing with certain diagnoses, etc. These are tips that come with experience, and could be very helpful for the new clinician. A series of review questions serves as a conclusion to each chapter to ensure that the reader has digested and integrated the important points of the material covered. A series of appendixes are included that wirh organized lists of muscles discussed in several ways — alphabetically, by innervation, by nerve root level, by body region, by function, and others. While the book is clearly intended for clinical use, this organization would be helpful to anyone studying for board certification or licensure as well.
Assessment: Although there are a great many books on the topic of muscle strength testing, the objective of bringing basic science to a practical, clinical level is extremely worthwhile. The editors of this book clearly meet their objective. The organization and style of the text and the use of artwork and photographs are very effective in communicating the important basic science concepts as well as clinical applications for each area discussed. The size of the book and the spiral binding facilitate use of the book at bedside, which further emphasizes clinical application.