SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Book Reviews
This book represents a single source for muscle strength assessment and neurologic examination. A companion website uses video clips to demonstrate the techniques and offers related web links and references. The previous edition was published in 2010.
The purpose is to provide students and healthcare professionals with accurate assessment techniques for the neuromusculoskeletal system. This edition places more emphasis on published evidence for the procedures it describes. It also expands on functional testing for more active individuals and for pediatric hand-held dynamometry. The techniques it presents are essential skills that will enable clinicians to accurately assess patients and help guide them in their clinical decision-making.
The target audience includes students and professionals in healthcare disciplines. It is an excellent resource for students and also would be useful as a quick reference in the clinic.
The beginning chapters cover manual muscle testing of the upper and lower extremities, head, neck, and trunk for pediatric patients through adults. Subsequent chapters cover functional muscle testing, hand-held dynamometry, the neurological screening examination, and using observational gait as a screening tool. Chapters are clearly organized using the same format throughout, allowing readers to quickly look up specific tests by muscle action. The well-done illustrations and photos provide clarity for patient position, stabilization, and patient and examiner action. Red arrows indicating direction of patient movement and examiner direction of resistance are especially useful for students. “Evidence for Practice” boxes following techniques offer the most up-to-date published research, and chapters conclude with case studies. The appendixes provide a concise reference for average joint ranges of motion and muscle innervation by spinal cord level, and by peripheral nerve. The companion website, a great tool to enhance learning, is divided into two sections: student learning and instructor resources.
This is a good update, with the change from DVD to learning system website, the addition of “Evidence for Practice” boxes, and the expansion of chapters to include functional testing for more active individuals and a greater variety of sensory testing techniques. The techniques of manual muscle testing and neurological assessment have not changed significantly through the years. That said, this book is useful for students and seasoned clinicians, because it provides the most recent research and at-a-glance access to tests.
Reviewed by: Lauren Perrone, MPT, OCS (Head 2 Toe Physical Therapy)