Palpation Techniques: Surface Anatomy for Physical Therapists

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Students who desire to become competent in palpation as well as experienced clinicians who seek a strong review of palpation will find this text an excellent learning resource. — Christopher Hughes, PhD, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA

This lavishly illustrated guide to palpation techniques provides readers with a solid understanding of topographic anatomy using clear, step-by-step descriptions that teach how to first identify, and then distinguish between, the various body structures.

Full-color photographs feature models with detailed drawings of muscles, bones, and tendons sketched directly onto their skin, indicating exactly where and how to palpate. Complementary color drawings show the functional significance of each anatomic region.


  • In-depth coverage of the entire body — upper extremities, lower extremities, and the head and trunk — all in one comprehensive volume
  • Over 850 full-color photographs and illustrations enhance the text, making it especially useful for the visual learner
  • Easy-to-reference text boxes contain tips and tricks, including advice on finger placement, pressure application levels, and more
  • Study questions at the end of each chapter aid readers in self-assessment and review of the material

Palpation Techniques: Surface Anatomy for Physical Therapists will enable students and practitioners of physical therapy or osteopathy to develop their anatomic knowledge and optimize patient care.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Amanda M Blackmon, PT, DPT, OCS (Mercer University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences)
Description: Palpation techniques are an essential component of a physical therapist's education that are often bypassed, as they are difficult to teach. This English edition of a book originally published in German does an excellent job of presenting this information in an easy-to-understand format.
Purpose: It conveys the importance of proper and accurate palpation of anatomical structures on the human body for use in the practice of physical therapy.
Audience: This book was written for a diverse audience that includes novice physical therapy students, experienced practitioners, and physical therapy educators. Each chapter, and the entire book, is organized to progress from easy techniques to more difficult skills. The author is a massage therapist and orthopedic physical therapist.
Features: The book begins with a chapter on palpatory technique, then covers specific regions of the body in each subsequent chapter (i.e., shoulder complex, neck and jaw, etc.). The photographs are excellent and multicolor skin drawings are frequently used to demonstrate underlying structures. The techniques are set up as foundational and to introduce therapists and students to higher level manual techniques. The anatomical basics of each body region are first discussed, as are pathology and mechanics. Then the emphasis moves to both stationary and movement-based palpation.
Assessment: As an educator in a physical therapy program, I teach an applied anatomy class in which students are to learn basic palpation techniques. I have used a number of palpation references, but this one is the most useful. It is student and teacher-friendly for beginning students, but also imparts higher level information that students will use throughout their formal schooling and into the clinical setting.
From the Publisher
I have used a number of palpation references, but this one is the most useful.— Doody's
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783131463418
  • Publisher: Thieme
  • Publication date: 11/17/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Massage Therapist and Physical Therapist, VPT Academy, Fellbach, Germany

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