Palpation Tips For The Sternocleidomastoid

Palpation Tips on October 15th, 2010 No Comments

I am not sure why  popular textbooks and most instructors teach the approach commonly used to palpate and treat the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM). Here is a clinical tip that will ensure better success in actually accessing the deep belly of the SCM. The client is position supine and the practitioner is seated – with one hand under the head, flex the head and neck, then rotate the head and neck to the same side. This allows the SCM to fall away from underlying structures that are often considered endangerments, like the carotid artery. Using a pincer palpation technique move towards the midline of the body and encircle the deep belly of the SCM, manipulation friction, trigger point therapy and strain counterstrain techniques can then be effectively applied. This approach works well for both bellies of the Sternocleidomastoid.

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