Description: This clinical guide outlines the procedures for palpating musculoskeletal structures relevant to physical therapy practice, along with appropriate anatomical and physiological background information.
Purpose: The purpose, according to the authors, is to assist students and healthcare professionals in becoming experts in surface palpation techniques. Their goal was to develop a comprehensive, user-friendly, and clinically oriented guide to enhance the skills of healthcare professionals who are in any of the disciplines that require palpation. While this book does briefly review relevant anatomy and kinesiology concepts, the authors encourage readers to review these concepts as a prerequisite to using this palpation guide.
Audience: The authors suggest the audience includes the many practitioners who may use palpation, including physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, physicians, physician assistants, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and students in these fields.
Features: After an introductory chapter, each of the remaining 10 chapters covers a specific area of the body. These chapters include sections on functions of the body area, bony anatomy, soft tissue anatomy, neurovascular anatomy, and palpation, as well as case studies. The most extensive section in each chapter is on palpation. Each palpation area includes a photo, lists information on patient and clinician positions, and simple instructions. It also includes some "Notes" or "Clinical Pearls," which provide brief information on related literature, studies, or clinical significance.
Assessment: The value of skillful palpation is unquestioned among physical therapists; therefore the information in this book is essential for PT practice. The presentation is clear, concise, and easy to follow. In addition, the background anatomical information is at an appropriate level and is equally as relevant in learning palpation skills. Although the vast majority of pertinent structures are covered, I would like to see the book expanded slightly if it is to be used in the orthopedic arena. I also would have liked to see greater detail and information on the clinical significance of each structure. Overall, however, this serves as a nice manual for those learning or refreshing their palpation skills.