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Edited by K Khan, H McKay, P Kannus, D Bailey, J Wark, K Bennell. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2001, £38.50, pp275, HB. ISBN 0-88011-9683
Karim Khan (co-author of Clinical Sports Medicine) has gathered together an international group of experts to present Physical activity and bone health.
The preface describes many professionals who may be interested in this text—from personal trainers through to professors. Essentially everyone!
The book is divided into five sections, and is well set out and easy to read. It has excellent summaries at the end of each chapter allowing the reader to skim through to find appropriate chapters.
The first section on “Structure, function, and measurement of bone” provides detailed descriptions of the anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of bone. There is a useful chapter on the techniques used to measure bone density and bone metabolism, which provides insight into the background information required to interpret these results in a clinical setting.
A well referenced guide to dietary supplements and their role in fracture risk reduction in postmenopausal women is contained in Part Two.
There is a chapter devoted to men, a group often overlooked in the discussion of bone health. Other chapters in Part Three include exercise programmes for improving bone health in specific groups (children and premenopausal and postmenopausal women). These exercise guidelines are practical, include photos and diagrams, and could be given directly to patients during a consultation.
Part Four looks at “Intense physical activity and bone health”. This section is most relevant to the athletic population. It gives an excellent overview of the literature but only general outlines on the management of menstrual disturbance, low bone mineral density, and stress fractures in athletes.
Unusual features of this book are a section on “Research opportunities” for Masters and PhD students and an appendix summarising references from the text which the authors claim will be updated on a website as new literature is published—keep an eye on that one!
This book is an extensive and excellent reference of the literature in the area of bone health. As a clinician dealing with female athletes on a regular basis, it expanded my knowledge base but it may not be very useful for clinicians looking for a “how to” guide to clinical treatments in this complex area.
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