Dynamic Chiropractic - December 19, 1990, Volume 08, Issue 26

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Functional Soft Tissue Examination and Treatment by Manual Methods -- The Extremities

By -- Warren Hammer, M.S., D.C., D.A.B.C.O.

Hardcover -- 300 pages

See pages xx on how to order

There are several ways to review a text. Mine is to first examine the production values (paper, printing, and binding), then do a quick "scan" reading. This is what I call reconnoitering the text. Finally, I attack with pen in hand and mutilate to my heart's content.

As you might imagine, there are some texts that hardly got past the binding -- although I give everything I review the benefit of a doubt and make sure I examine it thoroughly. Over the years I've been embarrassed for our profession by some of the shoddy and poorly written volumes that have come across my desk. And, I'm happy to say, I've been delighted and proud by the quality of an increasing number of texts produced by today's modern chiropractic physicians.

In the latter category is the new volume by Warren Hammer, D.C. The printing, paper, and binding are superior but they are only the skeleton. The verbal flesh is what matters and this effort by Hammer is a professional feast.

We spend years in school learning the value and therapeutic application of specific adjustive procedures on osseous structures, virtually divorcing bone from muscle. Think about it for a minute -- skeletal muscle has one primary function -- to move the bone it's attached to. Alterations in tonicity result in structural aberrations. To attempt corrections of osseous fixations without addressing the need to ameliorate the pathology of the soft tissues indigenous to the area is to invite a protraction of the symptoms and possible therapeutic failure.

Recognizing the need for a text concerned with the examination and treatment of soft tissue, Hammer has written a brilliant volume that is a necessary addition to every chiropractic physician's library.

It is a gritty text. It gives credit to those who deserve it while cutting through the arrogance of cherished misconceptions in the very first chapter. This is followed by a discourse on the pathology of soft tissue. Part II contains six chapters on the anatomy and examination of the extremities. In order, they are: the shoulder, the elbow and forearm, the wrist and hand, the hip and thigh, the knee, and the ankle and foot. After each chapter in this section is the unique feature of an appendix consisting of a functional diagnostic chart indigenous to the material covered.

Part III is on the manual treatment of dysfunctional soft tissues and is extraordinary by any measure. In no text have I ever seen material presented more succinctly and clearly, or illustrations of better or even equal quality.

Back in the early 70s the prestigious journal, Medical Economics, decided to do a story on chiropractic. It was meant to be the usual cut and slash kind of article. They picked as their "victim," Warren Hammer, D.C. This was a mistake on their part, for their writers and photographers went into a professional office that mandated an eleven-page piece that turned out to be a ringing tribute to both chiropractic and Dr. Hammer. I have never seen anything like it in publication.

Since that time I've always wanted to meet Dr. Hammer, and to our credit, MPI uses his expertise as one of our valued instructors. Now, this gifted physician has given his profession the benefit of his expertise in a dynamic text that should be used by every health professional who works with soft tissues of the body.

There have been excellent texts written about soft tissue therapeutics in the past but none equal this volume. And there will most certainly be attempts in the future to come close -- which is good because Functional Soft Tissue Examination and Treatment by Manual Methods -- The Extremities is destined to become the benchmark by which other texts on the subject will be measured.