Calf, Ankle, Foot — Anatomy Lab for Acupuncturists

Enhance your clinical skills through palpation, inspection and movement

With Instructor Jamie Bender L.Ac., DAOM

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--Webinars require continuous attendance on the date(s) offered to receive PDAs/CEUs. If you cannot attend, please consider a self-paced distance-learning version instead, if available, or another class that you will be able to attend.

--Ebooks are included with class purchase--please do not purchase both. When purchased separately, Ebooks are for informational purposes only--no PDAs/CEUs.

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Precise knowledge of clinical anatomy and kinesiology, and orthopedic/myofascial palpation and inspection, and movement analysis skills, are all essential foundations for diagnosis, and for determining where--and where not--to needle.

This unique class prepares students to get the most from the Calf, Ankle Foot module & Review/Practicum Lab.

Clinical anatomy and the jing-jin ("sinew meridians" or myofascial tracts)

  • We will improve our abilities to accurately locate key bony landmarks, muscles, tendons, joints, neural and vascular tissues, through palpation on ourselves and each other, and through review of clinical anatomy.
  • Through palpation, observation and movement exercises, we will explore functions of key muscles and their jing-jin associations, as well as functional vs. dysfunctional movement patterns.
  • We will review safety considerations, including needling angle and depth, to avoid injuring the many critical structures in this body region.

Enhanced orthopedic palpation and inspection skills

  • We will enhance our abilities to feel different tissue types and layers: skin, fascia, muscle, nerve, blood vessel, and bone, with both our hands and needle-tip sensation.
  • We will practice inspection and palpation for tissue abnormalities including myofascial trigger points, tendinopathies and joint disorders.

Review of anatomical structure and kinesiologic function

Calf and Ankle

  • Bony landmarks: be able to locate by palpation, if possible; know which muscles attach to them, if applicable
    • Tibial condyles
    • Fibular head
    • Malleoli
      • Tibial
      • Fibular
    • Calcaneus
    • Talus
      • Sustentaculum tali and tarsal tunnel (know contents)
  • Joints: be able to find the joint lines and ligaments by palpation
    • Tibio-fibular joints
      • Superior
      • Inferior (syndesmosis)
    • Calcaneo-fibular joint and ligament
    • Talo-fibular joint and ligaments
      • Anterior talo-fibular ligament
      • Posterior talo-fibular ligament
      • Sinus tarsi
    • Tibio-talar joint and deltoid ligament
  • Myofascial structures that move and stabilize the ankle. Be able to locate by palpation, if possible; know compartments, attachments and primary functions
    • Ankle plantar flexors
      • Superficial posterior compartment
        • Gastrocnemius: medial and lateral heads
        • Soleus
        • Achilles tendon
        • Plantaris muscle and tendon
      • Deep posterior compartment (also invertors)
        • Tibialis posterior
        • Flexor hallucis longus
        • Flexor digitorum longus
    • Ankle evertors/lateral compartment: fibularis (aka peroneal) group
      • Longus
      • Brevis
      • Tertius
    • Ankle extensors/dorsiflexors/anterior compartment
      • Anterior compartment
        • Tibialis anterior
        • Extensor hallucis longus
        • Extensor digitorum longus
        • (Fibularis tertius)
  • Neurovascular tracts and critical structures. Know pathways and distributions; be able to locate by palpation where superficial
    • Popliteal artery
    • Deep saphenous vein
    • Tibial nerve
    • Sural nerve
    • Saphenous nerve
    • Peroneal nerves
      • Common
      • Superficial
      • Deep


  • Bony landmarks: be able to locate by palpation; know which muscles attach to them, if applicable
    • Hindfoot
      • Calcaneus
      • Talus
    • Midfoot
      • Navicular
      • Cuneiforms
      • Cuboid
    • Forefoot
      • Metatarsals
      • Phalanges
      • 1st ray sesamoid
  • Joints: be able to find the joint lines and ligaments by palpation
    • Plantar calcaneonavicular or “spring” ligament
    • Calcaneocuboid joint
    • Lisfranc/mid-foot joint
    • Toes
      • 5th metatarsal base
      • Metatarso-phalangeal joints
      • Proximal interphalangeal joints
      • Distal interphalangeal joints
  • Myofascial structures that move and stabilize the foot. Be able to locate by palpation; know attachments and primary functions
    • Abductor hallucis
    • Adductor hallucis
    • Flexor hallucis brevis
    • Abductor digiti minimi