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Palpation of the urinary bladder

This is an excerpt from Clinical Guide to Surface Palpation 2nd Edition With HKPropel Online Video, A by Michael Masaracchio & Chana Frommer.

Zone IV: Pelvic Viscera
Urinary Bladder

Urinary Bladder


  • Patient: supine, with the knees bent
  • Clinician: standing on either side, facing the head of the table


  • Palpate the pubic tubercle (see chapter 10) with the index finger and thumb.
  • Move the fingers slightly superior to the pubic tubercle.
  • Firmly, but gently, begin to sink the thumb and index fingers posteriorly.
  • Depending on the fullness of the bladder, it may be located deeper.


  • Palpation of the bladder is contraindicated in the following conditions:
  • Pregnancy
  • Use of intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Presence of tumors
  • Presence of infection or stones

Clinical Pearl

  • Restrictions in urinary bladder mobility can lead to dysfunction at T11 to L2 and at the sacroiliac and sacrococcygeal joints.
  • Lower trunk rotation, unilateral heel slides, and single-leg hip external and internal rotation can all be used during visceral mobilization with movement.
More Excerpts From Clinical Guide to Surface Palpation 2nd Edition With HKPropel Online Video