Daniels and Worthinghams Muscle Testing: Techniques of Manual Examination and Performance Testing by Helen Hislop, Dale Avers & Marybeth Brown

This new edition of Muscle Testing adds plenty of features and aids Physiotherapists and students in a simple and practical way.  If you want to quickly check and learn how to manually test a movement or muscle, this is the book for you.

See example chapter

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For 70 years, Daniels and Worthingham’s Muscle Testing has been aiding students and professionals about the art of manual muscle testing. The 9th edition of Daniels and Worthinghams Muscle Testing: Techniques of Manual Examination and Performance Testing by Daniels and Worthingham’s  adds several new elements to previous editions:

  • Performance testing new chapter, covering functional strength testing in patients of all ages
  • Addresses the relevance and limitations of Manual muscle Testing and compares with other alternatives.
  • Muscle Testing in various clinical settings (e.g. Acute care, home, among others)
  • Evolve companion website and the Ready Reference Anatomy Guide

Contents and features

The authors direct their focus on joint motions (e.g. Hip flexion) instead of individual muscles (e.g. Psoas). However in each movement, contributing muscles are referred and illustrated, as well as their information (origin, insertion, innervation and ID). For each muscle or performance test the authors give details of muscle anatomy and innervation and explain how the Physiotherapist should position the patient and himself, and how to test and grade the results in a scale of 0 to 5.

Practical clues are also available, for example how to instruct the patient to perform the desired movement and how to identify and avoid possible substitutions in each test. Furthermore they give the reader many substituitions and helpful hints boxes, which vary from test to test (for example in trunk flexion muscle test, the authors give hints on how to ensure patient’s spine safety by adapting the original test); these may be very useful in clinical practice as they identify possible adaptations to the tests, pain that is a consequence of a muscle weakness and its signals during the test, among many others.

Other great feature is the ID number of every muscle, which identifies the muscle on test and it is referenced in the Ready Reference anatomy chapter in the book. This chapter is a way to quickly find the desired muscle and to briefly check its information (Origin, Insertion, Description, Function and Inervation), the ID number of each muscle can also be found in the alphabetical list of muscles (on cover page) and on the list of muscles by region (on back cover page).

Strengths

This practical and simple book is great for both students and professionals; in less than 1 minute you can find the test for the desired muscle and learn how to perform it. So for instance if you want to assess the bicep femoris of one patient and you don’t know how, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the back or front cover case, find the biceps femoris ID (192)
  2. Go to the Ready reference anatomy chapter, search for the 192 number and check the muscle information
  3. If you want to apply the test just check its function (in this case knee flexion and external rotation and hip extension and external rotation).
  4. Search in the contents (on the first pages) for this muscles testing page.
  5. Learn the muscle test and apply it to the patient.

Attractive images and simple tests allow the readers to easily find what they are looking for in muscle and performance testing, and if you want to learn something more you can also read the “not so attractive looking” helpful hints, filled with useful, relevant and evidence-based information (depending on each test). The convention of the arrows in the images allows a better understanding of the desired movement and resistance direction.

Cons

If you want to dig deeper in to muscle anatomy/physiology/biomechanics this may not be the right book for you as the objective is to help students and professionals to clear and quickly (“on call” if needed) assess a muscle or performance test; so this book only provides the basic and practical information.

Conclusion

This practical book allows the Physiotherapists and students to quickly assess and understand the evaluation of a muscle strength and function. It aids by giving clear instructions of the test, simple images with guiding arrows, possible substituitions and helpful hints boxes in each test. In addition this edition includes new coverage of alternative strength and performance tests for older and other population (inactive, obese, among others), and other new features that aids in a better understanding of muscle and performance testing. This is a book that every clinic and hospital must have in their shelves.

Danieals and Worthinghams Muscle TestingDaniels and Worthinghams Muscle Testing

Daniels and Worthingham’s Muscle Testing: Techniques of Manual Examination, 9th Edition is the original handbook of manual evaluation of muscular strength. In addition to offering traditional methods for assessing and grading skeletal muscle function, the book provides a comprehensive section on muscle anatomy and innervations that rounds out the testing chapters by linking muscle topography and function. This edition includes a new DVD of tests and procedures video clips that supplement the tests explained in the book.

See example chapter

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Muscle Performance in Neck Pain

Join Chris Worsfold in this online course which reviews the assessment and rehab of the deep and superficial neck muscles in the presence of pain.