Palpation of Ligaments, joints, bones and lymph nodes

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Palpating ligaments and joints

Ligaments are found around joints. They are high in elastin & are somewhat stretchy. Joint tissue is very similar to ligamentous tissue.

To distinguish ligaments from tendons, place the joint in a neutral position & ask the client to isometrically contract the muscle. The tendon will move over the underlying tissues, but the ligament will not.

Hard, dense misaligned fibres which are palpated within the ligament may be scar-tissue – evidence of a ligamentous injury.

Palpating lymph nodes

Lymph nodes are usually located in joint areas and feel like small, soft gelcaps. They are most common in the anterior cervical, axilla, and inguinal regions of the body.

Enlarged, firm lymph nodes indicates a local or systemic infection. The therapist should consider referral to a doctor.