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From The CriticsReviewer: Christopher James Hughes, PT,PhD,OCS,CSCS(Slippery Rock University)
Description: This text focuses on clinical examination techniques. The authors have developed this handbook as an outgrowth of their teaching materials and have attempted to summarize various methods of examination from leading clinicians in manual physiotherapy.
Purpose: The primary purpose is to present clinical examination procedures and theories proposed by leading manual therapists such as James Cyriax, Fred Kaltenborn, Geoffrey Maitland, and Brian Mulligan, among others. The publications of these authors are frequently referenced in each chapter. The authors attempt to integrate each examination philosophy. The reader should gain an appreciation of the diverse, broad knowledge base needed to conduct a thorough examination. Overall, the authors have met the proposed objectives of exposing the reader to various clinical exam methods. However, there are some instances where the information appears fragmented or superficially covered.
Audience: This book could serve as primary text in a manual therapy clinical course for physical therapy students. I can also see the benefit of possibly using this as a supplemental text in a graduate manual therapy course. Practicing therapists with a limited background in manual therapy may also find this text helpful. Overall, the content seems to primarily address physical therapists.
Features: The first three chapters focus on data gathering techniques and then progress to evaluation principles, which lead to a systematic exam of the neuromusculoskeletal system. These first three chapters are very well done. Subsequent chapters cover regional aspects of the body. A brief outline accompanies each chapter but no formal objectives are stated. References appear at the end of each chapter with many being repeated in each chapter. There are over 400 drawings and photographs, which are helpful in understanding hand placement and palpation procedures. Tables and recording charts are plentiful throughout the text. A chapter on gait analysis would have been an appropriate inclusion in an examination text. Chapters discussions of the spine are comprehensive. Differential diagnosis in relation to identifying disease is briefly mentioned.
Assessment: This book has some unique features and serves as a suitable text for academia or for self-learning. Other texts such as Magee's Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 3rd Edition (WB Saunders, 1997) may cover functional anatomy and special tests in more detail. However, this text may prove valuable to therapists who desire to improve their manual examination techniques and who would like to gain exposure to the philosophies of some of the leading manual therapists.