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46 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k s e p t e m b e r / o c t o b e r 2 0 1 5 Palpating the Popliteus Position: client prone with knee slightly flexed. 1. Standing at the client's side facing the knee, locate the medial tibial condyle with your fingertips. 2. Curl your fingertips posteriorly onto the distal border of the popliteal fossa, finding the posterior shaft of the tibia. 3. Palpate and follow the oblique fibers of the popliteus toward the lateral femoral condyle. 4. Resist as the client performs internal rotation of the knee with a neutral foot to ensure proper location. FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY reach full knee extension, your foot should turn out slightly. This happens when the tibia turns on the femur. You can also observe it by standing and gently locking (fully extending) and unlocking (slightly flexing or softening) the knee. Hyperextension of the knee can damage the popliteus muscle, creating pain and swelling in the back of the knee, as well as dysfunction in the lower extremity. The popliteus is also vulnerable to injury when planting and pivoting around the lower extremity. Weakness or inhibition of the hamstring muscles, particularly with rotational movements, may contribute to excessive stress, pain, trigger point activation, and dysfunction in the popliteus muscle. Christy Cael is a licensed massage therapist, certified strength and conditioning specialist, and instructor at the Bodymechanics School of Myotherapy & Massage in Olympia, Washington. Her private practice focuses on injury treatment, biomechanical analysis, craniosacral therapy, and massage for clients with neurological issues. She is the author of Functional Anatomy: Musculoskeletal Anatomy, Kinesiology, and Palpation for Manual Therapists (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009). Contact her at Editor's note: The Client Homework element in Functional Anatomy is intended as a take-home resource for clients experiencing issues with the profiled muscle. The stretches identified in Functional Anatomy should not be performed within massage sessions or progressed by massage therapists, in order to comply with state laws and maintain scope of practice. Client Homework— Seated Hurdler Stretch with Twist 1. Sit up straight and face forward, with one leg extended straight out and the other bent and tucked. 2. Keeping your back and knee straight, lean forward. 3. Grasp your ankle (or if you are able, your toes) and gently rotate your knee in and out without rotating your hip. 4. Gently stretch the back of the knee, then repeat on the other leg.

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