Follows and often confirms points that you noted during inspection. Palpation applies your sense of touch to assess these factors: texture; temperature; moisture; organ location and size; and any swelling, vibrations or pulsation, rigidity or spasticity, crepitation, presence of lumps or masses.
- The Dorsum (back) of the hand is used for detecting temperature
- Fingertips and fingerpads are used to assess texture, size, consistency
- Light: Apply pressure with fingers together and depress the skin 1cm
- Uses: rigidity, tenderness, masses
- Moderate: pressure with fingers depressing 1-2cm
- Deep: carries a risk of internal injury, should be done by experienced one
- Fingertips- best for fine tactile discrimination such as skin texture, swelling, pulsatility, and presence of lumps.
- A grasping action of the fingers and thumb- to detect the position, shape, and consistency of an organ or mass
- The dorsa of hands and fingers—best for determining temperature because the skin here is thinner than the palms
- Base of fingers or ulnar surface of the hand- to detect vibrations.
Technique low and systematic Warm your hands by kneading them together or holding them under warm water Identify any tender areas and palpate them last Start with light palpation to detect surface characteristics and accustom the person to being touched When deep palpation is needed (abdominal content), intermittent pressure is better than one long, continuous palpation Avoid any situation in which continuous or deep palpation could cause internal injury or pain.
Bimanual palpation requires the use of both hands to envelope or capture certain body parts or organs