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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Christopher J Hughes, PT, PhD, OCS, CSCS (Slippery Rock University)
Description: This book summarizes current basic and applied research pertaining to the physiology of underlying skeletal muscle trauma and healing.
Purpose: The purpose, according to the author, is to enlighten readers on what happens when muscle is damaged and how repair occurs, with an emphasis on applying this knowledge to various therapeutic interventions. Given there are not many books on this topic, the objectives are worthy and the book appears to successfully summarize the literature.
Audience: Since the book is written for anyone interested in basic physiological and applied clinical factors associated with skeletal muscle damage and repair, readers include graduate students, kinesiologists, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and researchers.
Features: The book is organized into three major divisions. Part one reviews current research with a particular emphasis on cellular responses to muscle injury and repair. Part two describes damage and repair mechanisms of muscle and relates these mechanisms to specific patients, such as persons with diabetes and athletes. This section also covers Duchenne muscular dystrophy and overuse injuries in the workplace. Part three critically evaluates specific interventions used to treat muscle damage. Chapters cover massage therapy, ultrasound, and hyperbaric oxygen and drug therapies, among others. Each chapter is well written with sufficient detail and well illustrated to help readers understand theories and data from the latest research. Interestingly, there is a chapter on muscle function during gait that the author ties in very nicely with how muscle damage and dysfunction impacts stability, propulsion, and shock absorption. At times the chapters become technical, but each of the authors provides a helpful summary to highlight key points.
Assessment: This book offers quality information on a very specific aspect of muscle performance. Few if any other books focus on such a defined area. Books such as Skeletal Muscle: Form and Function, by McComas (Human Kinetics, 1996) discuss muscle, but in a broader realm. Another book, Tendon Injuries: Basic Science and Clinical Management, by Maffulli et al. (Springer, 2005), has a similarly focused approach, but on muscle tendon function, pathology, and injury management.