In review: 'Aches and pains' by Louis Gifford, 'Leading good care' by John Burton

Books reviewed this week include 'Aches and pains' by Louis Gifford, 'Leading good care: the task, heart and art of managing social care' by John Burton.

Aches and pains by Louis Gifford

Louis Gifford died in February 2014 and this three-volume work represents the courses he ran for many years: aches and pains, the nerve root and graded exposure. There is an additional section on practical implementation case histories. These volumes are part autobiography, part literature review with a focus on teaching through the use of the author’s professional experience with clinical examples. The books are written in the author’s witty and idiosyncratic style, which I find easy to read. Those who want a dry and studious book may find the style frustrating but I would encourage them to persevere. 
A traditional review would criticise the series for not using the most up-to-date references to illustrate the many fundamental points made. This does not make the author’s conclusions and interpretation any less valid, as most of the references cited are seminal in our understanding of the current theories of pain.
Personally, I found the first two books the most satisfying maybe because I, like Louis, have a deep and unending fascination in the neurophysiology of pain. The books bring together the neurophysiology, psychology, behavioural and immune responses together with the social environment within which the pain is interpreted. They show how these alter the presentation in clinic and how a better understanding can make us more effective clinicians.
I found these books eminently readable and I read all 450,000 words with ease and found greater clarity in them than in many other textbooks on the subject. The set is essential reading for all interested in pain and for students and people new to the area it gives a context for the current views of pain and synthesises a vast area which one could not hope to cover as quickly as one will by reading this series. 
The books are a testament to the intelligence, wit and charm of the author and represent a fitting final tribute to an excellent teacher and communicator; I highly recommend them. Paul J Watson, emeritus professor of pain management and rehabilitation, university of Leicester.

Leading good care: the task, heart and art of managing social care by John Burton

This guide gives managers an understanding of systems of care and aims to inspire them to take the lead. John Burton explains the key issues and shows how, by focusing on the core task, managers can transform social care. 

Code of practice for disability equipment, wheelchair and seating services by Brian Donnelly

The code for many purposes: as a general guide, for tendering and evaluating services, performance and risk management, regulatory compliance, and strategic and operational purposes. It puts the user at the heart of services. 

Born to walk: myofascial efficiency and the body in movement by James Earls

This book is designed for anyone with an interest in evolution and movement, including physiotherapists. Though the ability to walk upright on two legs is one of the major traits that define us as humans, scientists still aren’t sure why we evolved  to walk as we do. 

My heart age

Public Health England and the British Heart Foundation are encouraging people to find out the ‘age’ of their, or their loved one’s, heart, using a new heart age tool. Available on the NHS Health Check website, the tool provides information about what happens at the NHS Health Check, when and how to get one, and how to lower your risk. Visit the My Heart Age website

Promoting mobility for people with dementia: a problem-solving approach by Rosemary Oddy

Written by a CSP member and published by the Alzheimer’s Society in association with the CSP, this book is now available as an ebook via Amazon or Google. Rosemary Oddy offers practical guidance on how to maintain mobility for people with dementia. 
Frontline and various

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