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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: 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.