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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Hughes, PT, PhD, OCS, CSCS (Slippery Rock University)
Description: This is a resource for therapists who need ergonomic instruction and intervention strategies for reducing risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. This is an update of a book first published in 1995.
Purpose: The purpose is to educate readers about work-related musculoskeletal injury, specifically manual therapists and massage therapists who are most vulnerable to overuse injuries of the hands and other joint structures while rendering patient/client care. Given the injury risk in these professions, the authors' objectives appear valid.
Audience: The book is primarily written for manual therapists, which includes both massage therapists and physical therapists, who are engaged in hands-on manual procedures for patient treatment. Both students in training and experienced practitioners can benefit from this information.
Features: The first of the book's three main parts cites personal and occupational risk factors and ends with a risk worksheet for readers to personally assess injury risk. Part two reviews ergonomic strategies to reduce worker risk. The authors discuss not only work environment risk but also body mechanics and injury prevention outside of the workplace, placing a strong emphasis on overall wellness. Part three discusses injury treatment and recovery. Injuries common to manual therapists are discussed in detail in this well organized section. Numerous tables and highlighted boxes appear throughout the book and the information is clearly written. Nine of the 17 chapters are referenced and a three-page bibliography citing non-peer reviewed and peer reviewed references precedes the index. Overall, the book is a nice overview of generally accepted ergonomic principles and practices.
Assessment: This topic is unique and the authors have done a nice job of compiling information that usually is not presented in one source. The book can serve as a comprehensive resource for therapists who themselves need to be reminded of their own health while trying to restore patient health.