Palpation Tips for Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Major, Teres Minor & Deltoid

Palpation Tips on October 24th, 2010 No Comments

Here is a simple way to access the Latissimus Dorsi – find the inferior angle of the scapula and move lateral a couple of inches. Using a pincer palpation technique pick up the central belly of the Latissimus Dorsi, if you move superiorly you will find the Teres Major which is aligned at about a 30 degree angle from the orientation of the Latissimus Dorsi. The Teres Major is not as easy to get ahold of, if you passively abduct the shoulder to about 90 degrees it will make it easier to access the main portion of the muscle belly. Transition by using reinforced thumbs move just slightly above the Teres Major and slide under the Posterior Deltoid to find the small tube like muscle belly of the Teres Minor. You can use a light cross fiber friction to feel the borders of the muscle. Superficial to the Teres Minor is the Posterior Deltoid it is easy to lift and squeeze this muscle with a pincer palpation technique. At anytime if you are not sure which muscle you are on have the client perform the primary action of the muscle to help differentiate between muscle bellies. Remember the Latissimus Dorsi and the Teres Major create the same actions at the shoulder. Let me know if this helps you isolate these important muscles of the shoulder region.

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