Many years ago, before the disastrous earthquakes hit Christchurch, New Zealand, I taught a class there where my sponsor and friend, Edi Guzy showed me a spiral bound pocket book called Muscle Manual by Dr. Nikita Vizniak of Professional Health Systems in Canada. It was like a mini-Travell and Simons, mini-Kendall and Kendall, and mini-Trail Guide all rolled into one, but it costs a lot less. I immediately installed it as the required text for the Manual Trigger Point Therapy (MTT) classes run by Myopain Seminars because it includes all 170 muscles that we cover in the nine days of the workshops.
Why we like the Muscle Manual
Because its spiral bound, it lies flat when open. Each muscle is reviewed for the obvious origin, insertion, action, nerve and blood supply, and synergists. Then, the muscle is examined for its specialties and vagaries, its common injuries and possible differential diagnoses. Following that is step-by-step palpation of each, some muscle testing, the trigger point referred pain zones, and a variety of homecare stretch and strengthening activities. Some muscles have one page, but most have two. Like all 1st editions Dr. Vizniak had purposely imbedded errors, differences of opinion and word substitutions. Me and my students proofed the book over time and put together 3 pages of suggested changes. Many suggestions made the cut, some did not. I.e., does the psoas have a role in medial or lateral rotation of the femur? What is a more important function of the rotator cuff – centration, stabilization or rotation?
What’s new Vizniak? Sing it
The 2nd edition is slightly bigger in size but it can still fit in your handbag. There are over 2000 illustrations in its 432 pages. The page devoted to trigger points is now more accurate. Pages now have links to the many videos on the prohealthsys website. It has 30 more pages, with new sections that cover muscle, ligament and bone injury grading and healing processes, and a section called Key Movement Patterns (KMP) that summarizes some of the work of the Czech neurologist and physiatrist, Vladimir Janda MD. I’m still searching for the first erratum.
It comes with an App
The book is supported by online quizzes, patient handouts and a smart phone app. The app is free and has over 2500 images on it, including many from Gray’s anatomy! (Download from the App Store or Google Play.) Other books in the Vizniak collection include Physical Assessment, Extremity Manual, Spinal Manual, Orthopedic Conditions and Physical Medicine. The new Muscle Manual will be the best $40 a manual therapist can spend. Shop here. Thanks again Edi.