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Assessment of the shoulder requires a thorough systematic examination to develop a hypothesis that informs our treatment planning. It is only through a complete and systematic assessment that good clinical reasoning and accurate differential diagnosis can take place. A good working hypothesis depends on knowledge of functional anatomy, an accurate patient history, diligent observation and a thorough examination. Findings from this assessment will guide appropriate management interventions. We also need to be able to recognise any red flags for potential serious conditions that may need onward referral. This course starts with a review of the principles of shoulder examination. Following this, there is a review of the evidence for orthopaedic special tests of the shoulder and explore when it is appropriate to use them. Next, the course covers shoulder pain and the importance of recognising the differences between acute and chronic pain, and the implications for assessment and management of the patient. Finally outcome measures and diagnostic imaging complete the assessment puzzle.
To be able to perform a comprehensive assessment on an individual with shoulder pain or injury and evaluate the information gathered from the assessment to formulate a likely hypothesis.
This course is made up of videos, reading, forum posts and a final quiz. The course content is split into the following sections:
- Shoulder assessment
- Orthopaedic Special Tests
- Pain – what do we need to know?
- Outcome Measures
- Diagnostic Imaging
This course is aimed at Physiotherapy and Physical Therapy clinicians, students and assistants. Other interested professionals such as athletic trainers, occupational therapists, nurses or medical doctors interested in this subject are also invited to participate.
Hours of Learning - No deadlines are applied to this course and it can be started and completed in your own time according to your personal schedule. We expect the required elements to take around 3-4 hours depending on your schedule and learning style. Additionally there are many optional resources provided and if you choose to review these the course could take longer to complete.
Types of Activities - Reading Physiopedia pages, journal articles, book chapters. Watching videos. Attempting quizzes. Participating in an international discussion forum.
Certificates - At the end of the course, when you have completed all of the required elements, you will be able to download a certificate of completion and 3.9 Physioplus points will be added to your personalised learning dashboard.
Requirements to complete this course
In order to complete this course and receive a course completion certificate plus CEUs/CCUs/CPD points you will need to:
- Respect the Physioplus Community Culture.
- Log all the required learning activities as complete (represented by the orange icons!).
- Actively and appropriately participate in the course discussions.
- Pass a final quiz with a score of 80% or more.
- Complete a course evaluation form.
At the end of this course you will be able to:
- Discuss the role of orthopaedic special tests in the assessment of individuals with shoulder pain.
- Recognise two presentations of shoulder pain that require onward medical referral
- Recognise two presentations that would indicate the need for onward referral for diagnostic imaging
- Select two validated outcome measures to use with individuals with shoulder pain.
Physiotherapist, United States
I have found Physioplus courses to be up-to-date and evidence-based while remaining digestible and accessible. The structured format works well with my busy work and family schedules. I can complete sections little by little and see my progress every time I return.
Physiotherapist, United States
Great course. It's given me a lot to implement and practice.