I have to admit I missed the boat on the importance of manual medicine for a long time. After speaking to the best clinicians and therapists in the area there was one book that each and everyone of them, regardless of their current treatment approach, recommended I read - Greenman's Principles of Manual Medicine (Point (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins))
After recently completing this book I now know why. This book is a must for anyone treating musculoskeletal dysfunction on a daily basis. Below is a short excerpt from this book.
The Manipulable Lesion
"The acceptable term for this entity is somatic dysfunction. It is defined as impaired or altered function or related components of the somatic (body framework) system; skeletal, arthrodial, and myofascial structures; and related vascular, lymphatic, and neutral elements. Notice that the emphasis is on altered function of the musculoskeletal system and not on a disease state or pain syndrome." pg 11
DIAGNOSTIC TRIAD FOR SOMATIC DYSFUNCTION
"The mnemonic ART can express the diagnostic criteria for identification for somatic dysfunction.
“A” stands for asymmetry of related of the musculoskeletal system, either structural or functional.
“R” stands for range of motion of a joint, several joints, or region of the musculoskeletal system. The range of motion could be abnormal by being either increased (hypermobility) or restricted (hypomobility). The usual finding in somatic dysfunction is restricted mobility, identified by observation and palpation using both active and passive patient cooperation.
“T” stands for tissue texture abnormality of the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system (skin, fascia, muscle, ligament, etc.). Tissue texture abnormalities are identified by observation and a number of different palpatory tests.
Some authors add one of two other letters to this mnemonic. “P” or a second “T”. “P” stands for pain associated with other findings, and “T” stands for tenderness on palpation of the area. Tenderness is particularly diagnostic if localized to a ligament. A normal ligament is not tender. A tender ligament is always abnormal. However, both pain and tenderness are subjective findings instead of the objective findings of symmetry, altered range of motion, and tissue texture abnormality. By the use of these criteria, one attempts to identify the presence of somatic dysfunctions, their location, whether they are acute or chronic, and particularly whether they are significant for the state of the patients wellness of illness at that moment in time. In addition to the diagnostic value, changes in these criteria can be of prognostic value in monitoring the response of the patient, not only to manipulative treatment directed toward the somatic dysfunction, but also to other therapeutic interventions." Pg 11-12