Dynamic Chiropractic - June 21, 1991, Volume 09, Issue 13

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Fundamentals of Chiropractic Diagnosis and Management

Edited by Dana J. Lawrence, D.C.

Published by Williams and Wilkins

Hardcover -- 591 pages

The name of Dana Lawrence associated with any project requires a certain degree of anticipated respect. His track record in the literary efforts of the chiropractic profession are well-established and it was therefore with more than the usual measure of enthusiasm that I read his latest project.

With the relative plethora of chiropractic texts that seem to be entering the market today, it's important that we decide which texts are germane to the profession's needs.

Beautifully produced -- as usual by Williams & Wilkins -- this volume is a compendium of essays by various authors on the systems of the body, their disorders, and conservative care. As with any enterprise of this character, the volume presents a broad mosaic of expressions and opinions. The function of the editor, it would seem, is to bring a measure of cohesion -- a logical consensus to the material presented.

My impression was that Dr. Lawrence opted to give free reign to his contributors, which has turned out to be both a blessing and at times frustrating. The study of the body is not a dry subject and when written about should reflect the specific authors excitement with the material covered. This was abundantly presented in varying styles.

My frustration came with the sometimes casual approach to the value of specific adjustive procedures by some of the authors. It's almost as if we try to court the favor of medicine by emphasizing those aspects of physiology and therapy that are medically "acceptable," while the therapeutic approach that has made chiropractic both unique and a dynamic alternative to drugs and surgery is presented in a somewhat off-hand manner.

For years we seem to have been inculcated with the concept that if we want to be "real doctors" we must become "scientific" and discard those things we can't prove are viable. It's implied that we must embrace the "scientific" nonsense of a medical profession which admits that it doesn't have any "scientific" proof for the majority of what it does.

With some notable exceptions, most of the authors in this chiropractic text seemed to place only minor importance on chiropractic adjustive procedures so that the "chiropractic management" implied in the book's title seemed at times obscure.

These are the book's "warts." The brilliance of the text, it's diversity, clarity, physiological affirmation and production more than outweigh any of the negatives I felt were present. In fact, the areas that frustrated me were due more to emphasis than omission.

The text is divided into 17 chapters, starting with a brief history of the chiropractic profession. This is followed in turn by chapters on biomechanics, the skeletal system, the voluntary muscular system, the neurological system, hemological disorders, dermatological disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, the renal system, cardiovascular disorders, upper respiratory problems, the endocrine system, the musculoskeletal system (with many specific areas covered), pediatric disorders, and the final chapter on nutritional disorders.

Fundamentals of Chiropractic Diagnosis and Management is essentially a wonderful volume. The kind that makes you proud to be a chiropractic physician and an important addition to any serious physician's library. Dana Lawrence and Williams & Wilkins deserve our admiration and gratitude for continuing to feed the intellectual appetite of the profession. I look forward to a continuing feast.