When Dolores and I were invited by F. A. Davis to rewrite Brunnstrom's Clinical Kinesiology, we were honored to be considered to undertake the project. In our own respective programs half a country apart, we each “grew up” with this text, as it was a required textbook for each of us in our professional education programs.
Although the world of fiction contains several classical novels, from Oliver Twist to Catcher in the Rye, there are very few textbooks, especially in the health professions, that withstand the test of time and fall within the category of “classics.” However, Brunnstrom's Clinical Kinesiology is, indeed, one such textbook. The mere fact that it is celebrating its Golden Anniversary year of publication is evidence of its stand-alone presence in the world of health care. It was originally written by Signe Brunnstrom when there were few textbooks in kinesiology and little research on the topic. Her text began as a teaching manual for her students at Columbia University and evolved into a book through a grant from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. It was her desire to provide kinesiological information from a clinical perspective to assist professionals in their own performance in the field of rehabilitation.
Her desire to meet the needs of professionals in rehabilitation continues to be met today in this new and updated version of her original textbook. We have included information based on new evidence, applications based on new techniques, and chapters based on new knowledge to expand Brunnstrom's original text to move her original idea of providing clinical applications of kinesiology to rehabilitation into the 21st century.
Dolores and I first met when we spent an intensive and productive weekend together developing a proposal for this immense project. We instantly hit it off and have been on the same wavelength throughout the past 4 years as this project has moved from vision to reality.
Our goal for this revision has been to keep the classic Brunnstrom touch in this text while moving its information into the 21st century. We also wanted to maintain Brunnstrom's idea of this text as a book of useful information that aids students and clinicians in their understanding of body movement and its application in the clinical world. If there is one criticism of many of today's kinesiology texts, it is that much of the information includes biomechanical calculations and engineering perspectives rather than a clinical perspective. Although there are individuals who prefer to include these calculations and information, there are also many who find such information unnecessary for students becoming health care professionals.
Therefore, we have preserved Signe Brunnstrom's perspective of approaching kinesiology from a clinical perspective throughout this text. We have included only essential calculations when they are necessary, as the goal of this text is to provide clinical applications of kinesiology rather than biomechanics. For this reason, you will find this text thinner than other kinesiology texts. The kinesiology presented in this book is pertinent to those individuals who perform as health care providers for individuals in need of rehabilitation treatments, prevention techniques, and corrective exercises.
It has been 50 years since Signe Brunnstrom's first edition was published and students began learning from her wealth of information. The fact that this text continues to contribute to the education of health care students today speaks to the scholarship, foresight, and richness that Signe Brunnstrom infused within it 50 years ago. She appreciated the unique simplicity of the body with its complexity of movement and wanted other clinicians to share in her appreciation of how wondrously it works. We do, too, and hope that this edition provides you with the enrichment and appreciation of body motion the way Signe Brunnstrom's early editions did for us. We will let you decide if we have accomplished this goal.
Peggy A. Houglum
Dolores B. Bertoti