The Back: Anatomy for Problem Solving in Sports Medicine

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for a person to seek healthcare advice and the second most common reason for sick leave.

This easy-to-read, practical book offers a review of the normal and pathoanatomy of the back. Topics cover movements of the head, spinal cord and curvatures.

While the authors explain the various pathologies, they do not subclassify them into injuries requiring intervention or not, nor do they discuss treatment modalities for any of the injuries. Foundational anatomy is also not included.

A criticism is that the content does not demonstrate a logical progression, and perhaps would have benefited from being organised along spinal regions. There is scant mention of the sacroiliac joint, which is a source of pain in the lower back and buttocks.

One of the greatest attributes of the book are the graphics, although they are poorly labelled. The authors who consist of an anatomist and a sports physiotherapist have combined their knowledge and provided detailed diagnostic imaging scans, anatomical models and illustrations to demonstrate the normal and pathoanatomy.

This will serve as a handy reference guide for sports medicine students, emergency department clinicians and any clinician with an interest in sports medicine. However, it assumes prior knowledge and would not suit undergraduate learners.

It will be a valuable companion to a more comprehensive text, suitable for students preparing for objective structured clinical examinations.

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