Postural Assessment

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Overview

Though postural assessment is a skill required by most therapists and useful for many health and fitness professionals, few resources offer a complete discussion of the topic to support practitioners in the task. Written for students and practitioners of massage therapy, physical therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, sports medicine, athletic training, and fitness instruction, Postural Assessment is a guide to determining muscular or fascial imbalance and whether that imbalance contributes to a patient’s or client’s pain or dysfunction.

Jane Johnson, a practicing physiotherapist and sport massage therapist and instructor, breaks down the complex and holistic process of assessing posture into easy-to-assimilate sections. Johnson begins with a discussion of ideal posture and the factors affecting posture as well as how to provide the correct environment for postural assessment, necessary equipment, and the importance of documenting assessment findings. Then she details procedures for executing postural assessments from standing posterior, lateral, and anterior views as well as with the patient or client in a seated position.

The text features tips for improving assessment technique, and What Your Findings Mean sections provide readers—students in particular—with guidance for systematic analysis. Each chapter ends with five Quick Questions, with answers, to assist in gauging understanding of the topics covered.

Information in the text is enhanced with detailed illustrations that offer visual cues to learning postural assessment and identifying anatomical relationships. Line drawings illustrate bony landmarks used in the assessments, and numerous photos show both obvious and subtle postural variations. Reproducible illustrated postural assessment charts in the appendix provide space for recording observations during each step of the assessment.

Postural Assessment can assist practitioners in learning what posture reveals about the relationships among various body parts and in determining whether such relationships cause or contribute to pain or discomfort. As a resource for novices, Postural Assessment offers guidance in observing and identifying common postural forms and interpreting those observations.

Postural Assessment is part of the Hands-On Guides for Therapists series, which features specific tools for assessment and treatment that fall well within the realm of massage therapists but may be useful for other body workers, such as osteopaths and fitness instructors. The guides include full-color instructional photographs, Tips sections that aid in adjusting massage techniques, Client Talk boxes that present ideas for creatively applying techniques for various types of clients, and questions for testing knowledge and skill.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Dana J Lawrence, DC, MMedEd, MA (Palmer College of Chiropractic)
Description: This brief book provides a good introduction to visual postural assessment. Two introductory chapters provide an overview of the process of visual assessment followed by four chapters designed to provide information about conducting postural assessment from various perspectives: lateral, posterior, anterior, and seated.
Purpose: The book is intended to provide an overview of postural assessment for a variety of healthcare disciplines in which this information is used for diagnosis and treatment considerations and examines how postural presentations may relate to underlying conditions. As a result, it is appropriate for a wide range of fields: chiropractic and osteopathy, as well as massage therapy and even Pilates. There are few such standalone books, so this will find use. To that extent, the book successfully meets the author's objectives.
Audience: The audience, according to the author, includes both practitioners and students in physical therapy, osteopathy, chiropractic, sports massage, sports therapy, and bodywork. However, because it is written at a fairly basic level, it would appeal more to students than to practitioners. The level at which it is written may make it more appealing to massage therapists and bodywork practitioners than to those training as manual therapy physicians, though it would be a useful adjunct for those disciplines.
Features: The book is beautifully constructed — illustrations are clean and crisp and the paper is a high quality, heavy stock. It clearly demonstrates what normal posture is, what deviations from normal may look like, and what those deviations may mean. This information is tied in to clear descriptions of normal muscular actions, thus relating normal to abnormal findings and function. The illustrations show actual people with actual findings; graphics provide additional information. The color art and photography is a great help in this book. However, it lacks an index, and it relies upon a small group of older references. This may reflect the topic area, but more recent references would be a help.
Assessment: While rather basic in scope and coverage, the information in this book will be useful to those who assess the body visually. As a chiropractic physician, I think this would be good complement to other books our profession uses, and I can see direct usefulness for physical therapy students and others. I can find no books with which to compare this and, as a result, I think it will find a good audience among those who rely upon palpation and visual assessment as part of their diagnostic protocols.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781450400961
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/8/2011
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 677,221
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Johnson, MSc, is co-director of the London Massage Company, England. As a chartered physiotherapist and sport massage therapist, she has been carrying out postural assessments for many years.

Johnson teaches postural assessment as a provider of continuing professional development (CPD) workshops for the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT). This experience has brought her into contact with thousands of therapists of all disciplines and helped inform her own practice. She is also a regular presenter at the annual Complementary and Massage Expo (CAM) held in the United Kingdom.

Johnson is a full member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists and is registered with the Health Professions Council. A member of the Institute of Anatomical Sciences, she has a deep interest in musculoskeletal anatomy and how newly qualified therapists can be better educated in this subject. She also is interested in the relationship between emotions and posture.

In her spare time, Johnson enjoys taking her dog for long walks, practicing wing chun kung fu, and visiting museums. She resides in London.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Getting Started With Postural Assessment

Chapter 1. Introduction to Postural Assessment

What Is Posture?

What Factors Affect Posture?

Is There an Ideal Posture?

Why Should I Do a Postural Assessment?

Who Should Have a Postural Assessment?

Where Can Postural Assessment Take Place?

When Should Postural Assessment Be Done?

Closing Remarks

Quick Questions

Chapter 2. Preparing for Postural Assessment

Equipment Required

Time Required

Postural Assessment Steps

Standard Alignments

Documenting Your Findings

Cautions and Safety Issues

Closing Remarks

Quick Questions

Part II. Carrying Out Postural Assessment

Chapter 3. Posterior Postural Assessment

Upper Body

Lower Body

Quick Questions

Chapter 4. Lateral Postural Assessment

Upper Body

Lower Body

Comparing Overall Posture

Quick Questions

Chapter 5. Anterior Postural Assessment

Upper Body

Lower Body

An Overall View: Body Shape

Quick Questions

Chapter 6. Seated Postural Assessment

Posterior View

Lateral View

Quick Questions

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