Because chronic rounded back posture results in rigidity of the spine being stuck in flexion, gentle but firm motion palpation
of the thoracic spinal joints should be done by challenging these joints to move into extension.
Indeed, many variables may affect accuracy and reliability of spinal motion palpation
(tactile perception) used by osteopaths: fingertip utilized, intensity of the manual pressure, speed of the test motion induction, visual focus to the tactile task, attentiveness to the motion exam, fingertip skin conformation to the spatial details of the body surface being palpated, texture of the surface, age of the examiner, and frequency of use of the motion palpation
(MP) of the spine and sacroiliac joints is an assessment tool that is integral to most manual therapy practitioners and is taught within the core curriculum of virtually every chiropractic college.
Humphreys BK, Delahaye M and Peterson CK (2004): An investigation into the validity of cervical spine motion palpation
using subjects with congenital block vertebrae as a 'gold standard'.
The study criteria for mechanical neck pain were defined as unilateral or bilateral neck pain, discomfort with joint pressure, restriction of segmental movement as determined by static or motion palpation
, and lack of neurological or vascular deficits.
Divided into two sections: Diversified Diagnostic Procedures and Diversified Therapeutic Procedures, chapters cover everything from motion palpation
, physiotherapy, cranial manipulation, acupuncture, casting of fractures, obstetrics, hypnotherapy and much more.
Nearly 55% of respondents rated motion palpation
should be performed on all patient encounters for supine cervical assessment while only 27% for seated patient positioning.
Despite the lack of evidentiary support, a typical manual therapy examination involves finding asymmetry (e.g., pelvic torsion), then determining the clinically relevant side through motion palpation
and other examination procedures.
Merz et al (6) studied whether the addition of visual cues as to the location of anatomical landmarks in the pelvis would increase the accuracy of motion palpation
in identifying the location of the SP of L5.
Static and motion palpation
demonstrated bilateral paraspinal muscle tension and tenderness as well as global segmental restrictions from C3-7.
Joint motion palpation
revealed no joint restrictions, though mild tenderness was present from T1-L2.
of the thoracic spine revealed a lack of motion in the sagittal plane at the T3-4 and T6-7 vertebral motor units.