Shoulder Assessment

Shoulder Assessment

Learn skills to make an effective assessment of the shoulder
Amazing course! Well done! I recommend it to all PTs working in this area.
See more testimonials


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:

  1. Shoulder assessment
  2. Orthopaedic Special Tests
  3. Pain – what do we need to know?
  4. Outcome Measures
  5. Diagnostic Imaging

Target audience

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.

You need an upgraded Physioplus account to access this course