Today in Palpation, we finally got to use our marking pencils and practice counting out the spinous processes. I feel like this is a skill that I will get to use every day in my career, and so it feels awesome to be getting to take this step in class and practice what technique works best for me.
The best thing about getting to do this in class is the variety of people to practice on. I get to palpate my roommates all the time, but I have gotten to know their bodies pretty well by now. So it’s nice to be in class and get to test out my tactile reception on some different backs. Some people are easy with very prominent features and some people are a little more difficult to feel everything on.
Today we were marking the inter-spinous spaces with a line, so everyone’s back had a bunch of lines all the way down at each of their inter-spinous spaces. Cervicals and thoracics tend to be easy to find regarding each spinous and its space, but down in the lumbars it gets a little trickier.
Once we had found all the spaces and had the correct number of spinouses counted up, we marked lines to where the transverse procceses would lie. If you didn’t know already, they are actually typically a little above where the spinous process would be for each segment. The transverse processes are the contact points for many adjustments, so it will be important to be able to find them and get to know where they are in relation to the spinous.
The transverse processes are not as easily palpable as the spinous processes, but you will know if you are on it by having one thumb on the spinous process and pushing on the transverse process to make the spinous move ever so slightly.
Overall it was a fun learning day in Palpation!