A friendly handshake at the onset will offer reassurance and provide an opportunity for the clinician to make contact with the patient as a useful prelude to the more intimate aspects of examination. The handshake may provide an index of the patient's personality and may also give diagnostic clues.
It is abnormal in many neurological or locomotor disorders, such as spastic hemiparesis or severe Dupuytren's contracture (Fig. 2.2). Indeed, it is advisable to check surreptitiously that the patient's right hand is present and reasonably functional. If this is not the case, it is best to avoid shaking hands or to offer the left hand. Much information may be available from a "normal' handshake (see Table 2.1).
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.