One of the most important functional movements of the shoulder is active elevation. Restoring elevation in a time-efficient manner remains a challenging problem. The rehabilitation specialist needs to be a detective and figure out why a joint is not moving and/or what is causing the pain. Shoulder elevation is one of the most complicated movements in the body.  If we analyze the shoulder motions, it is made up of moving parts all responsible for the functional movement patterns that the joint allows. There are three major moving parts of the shoulder, the scapula, humerus, and the clavicle, making up three moving joints. The glenohumeral (G-H) and the acromio-clavicular (AC) are synovial joints, where as the scapulo-thoracic (ST) is a sesamoid bone floating around the ribs.  We believe that restoring rotation of the glenohumeral joint, acromio-clavicular and scapula thoracic articulation before elevation is the safest and most efficient methods of treating patients with stiff and painful shoulders.

Level of Instruction:  Intermediate

Course Objectives

  • Describe the mechanics of the shoulder that promotes rotation as the major function of the shoulder.
  • Identify rotational movements in different planes will assist the therapist in developing a differential soft tissue diagnosis.
  • Describe the interrelationship of soft tissue structures in the shoulder that create functional movements that involve rotation.
  • Outline a rehabilitation program for the stiff and painful shoulder that promotes restoring rotation.
  • Identify the therapeutic effect of low load prolonged stretch, stress relaxation, and mobilization to the periarticular structures of the shoulder
  • Explain why rotational strengthening exercises are the most important functional exercises for the shoulder.

Course Agenda

  • Force couples make up the normal mechanics of the shoulder
  • Defining central position of the glenohumeral joint
  • Evaluation of Rotation of the glenohumeral joint and the scapula thoracic joint
  • Treatment of the shoulder through restoration of Rotation at the glenohumeral joint, acromio- clavicular and scapulo-thoracic


  • Dr. Robert Donatelli, PT, PhD, OCS

Dr. Donatelli is a clinician, researcher, author, and educator and considered one of the leading experts in the treatment and prevention of upper and lower extremity injuries in the world.   Dr. Donatelli has an extensive list of accomplishments and titles within his profession, including national director of Sports Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Associates; personal physical therapist for Andy Roddick, ATP tour; physical therapist for the PGA Tour; consultant for the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers; and clinic director of an outpatient facility providing sports and orthopedic rehabilitation. Dr. Donatelli has rehabilitated numerous professional athletes and was the physical therapist for the Champions Tour of Tennis, which included tennis legends Jimmy Conners and John McEnroe. He is the editor of Physical Therapy of the Shoulder 4th Edition, Orthopedic Physical Therapy 3rd Edition, and Sports Specific Rehabilitation. Dr. Donatelli has taught orthopedic topics throughout the United States, and in Canada, England, Romania, Australia, Sweden, China, and more.


Contact Hours: 1.5

Price: $49


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