Muscle Palpation Fundamentals

presented by Joseph Muscolino

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The purpose of this course is to familiarize the therapist with an understanding of the guidelines for muscle palpation. This course discusses and gives examples of twenty guidelines that allow the therapist to be able to critically think through the process of how to palpate each skeletal muscle of the body. Joseph Muscolino discusses and demonstrates examples of each guideline, and discusses how they ultimately fit together for any target muscle.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Joseph Muscolino, DC

    Dr. Joseph Muscolino graduated from Western States Chiropractic College (WSCC) in Portland, Oregon with a wide breadth of assessment and treatment technique knowledge and has been in private practice as a licensed chiropractic physician since 1985. He has been teaching musculoskeletal and visceral anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, pathology, and palpation and assessment courses for 24 years. He also runs numerous advanced study workshops, including those on deep tissue, body mechanics, stretching, joint mobilization, and Anatomy in Clay®; cadaver labs; and in-services for Pilates and yoga instructors of manual and movement therapies. He has introduced CE home study courses on muscle and bone palpation, kinesiology, and the muscular system, and has also written extensively about manual and movement therapies. He is the author of numerous articles and textbooks, including The Muscle and Bone Palpation Manual, The Muscular System Manual, and Kinesiology and currently teaches anatomy and physiology at Purchase College, SUNY. He also writes a regular column article entitled Body Mechanics for the Massage Therapy Journal and has written articles for the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies and numerous books on anatomy and kinesiology.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Introduction and Guidelines 1-4

    1. Introduction and Guidelines 1-4

    What is muscle palpation? In the first chapter of this course, Dr. Muscolino defines the two parts of muscle palpation, and explains the importance of working with clearly defined guidelines for muscle palpation. This chapter also covers palpation guidelines 1 to 4, including the importance of knowing the attachments and actions of the target muscle, and strategies for choosing the best action of the target muscle to engage it.

  2. Palpation Guidelines 5-9

    2. Palpation Guidelines 5-9

    In this chapter, Dr. Muscolino will provide examples of guidelines 5 to 9. These guidelines include the importance of looking for the target muscle before placing hands on the patient, finding the target muscle in the easiest place possible, and strumming across the target muscle.

  3. Palpation Guidelines 10-11

    3. Palpation Guidelines 10-11

    This chapter covers guidelines 10 to 11, including how knowledge of coupled actions, and the knowledge of reciprocal inhibition can be used when palpating a muscle.

  4. Palpation Guidelines 12-15

    4. Palpation Guidelines 12-15

    This chapter covers guidelines 12 to 15, including knowledge of appropriate pressure when palpating, the use of appropriate pressure, and strategies for safely palpating deep musculature.

  5. Palpation Guidelines 16-20

    5. Palpation Guidelines 16-20

    In the final chapter of this course, Dr. Muscolino introduces the final group of palpation guidelines, including practical considerations like constructing a mental picture of underlying anatomy, working with a ticklish patient, and employing the best possible palpation position.