Hooves on the ground: Colour Atlas of Anatomy, a photographic study of the human body. Rohen/Yokochi

This is exactly what it sounds like; A compilation of colour photographs, CT-scans and MRIs of the human body, laid out by body part (Head, neck, trunk, thoracic organs, abdominal organs, urogenital and reproductive, upper limb, lower limb).

Now, most of the book is going to be no direct use; the sections on the internal organs, for example. Honestly, most of the book is probably not very much practical use at all, in the scope of dealing with hypermobility. It’s meant as a companion to a dissection lab, allowing students to view the structures that they’ll find in their cadaver in a flat, easy-to-understand form.

My use for it is in placing exactly which structures have gone wrong – With a combination of following the sore or tense bits of muscle to find the attachment points, then viewing the cadavers to see exactly how it interacts with the things around it, then applying targetted manipulation to it to make it hurt less, whether that be a movement from Maitland, an exercise to isolate that muscle group, vibration, TENS (one pad on each end of the muscle, much more useful than making every random muscle around it go wrong) or anything else.

It’s also useful for working out if something is luxated or not, and if it is luxated, how to put it back. This might only work if you’re on the undernourished side – I can feel inside various processes with a slight pressure, which wouldn’t work if there was more muscle or fat in the way – but I’ve found it to be a really useful guide to exploring the glenoid process, and to working out the non-intuitive bits of pain relief (Example – sometimes the best way to deal with a pain over the clavicle is to massage down under the scapula. Or on the ribs.) and the best positions to get into to reduce the strain on individual bits of tissue.

Incidentally, I find it useful to use this book along with a Mr Thrifty, A 1/4th scale desk skeleton, fully articulated, and onto which I’ve painted some of the major points of attachment for the muscles of the limbs, since it helps with the spacial reasoning (To whit, I can move the limbs around, and see what stretches the muscles, what puts the least pressure on the joints, etc).

The pages themselves are well laid-out, most having a large photograph of the body part being examined, partially dissected and with the major structures labelled, and the dissection itself is described – What’s been removed, which angle it’s being viewed from, and (in the case of arms) if it’s pronated or supinated. Next to these there’s usually a small diagram showing interesting points of the structures involved, or demonstrating a movement, and they’re an even more stripped-down way of looking at the same structures.

I find that, above all else, it’s a very comforting book. Seeing the sheer weight of the bones of the knee, and the sharp hook of the olecranon, it makes my limbs feel a lot more solid. And, as the introduction says, we are reminded of “How precisely, beautifully and  admirably the human body is constructed”.

Exact details of my copy: Colour Atlas of Anatomy, a photographic study of the human body. Johannes W. Rohen, Chihiro Yokochi, with the collaboration of Lynn J Romrell, 3rd Edition, 1993. Second hand, £4.

Disclaimer: Nothing said above is intended as a substitute for qualified medical advice, or to supersede the advice of a qualified physician. This is my personal review of my experiences with a book, as a layman. I am not a medical professional, of any kind, and any health issues should be discussed with a doctor or other appropriate professional.

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