Shoulder Pain Guidelines (AAOS)

What is it?

Though designed for physicians, this flowchart from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) can be a helpful visual tool for physiotherapists as well. The chart provides an outline for history taking, physical examination, and decision making when a patient presents with shoulder pain. It also includes condition scripts for 6 common shoulder presentations and suggestions for initial management of each one.

Our thoughts:

Though any clinician could benefit from having these guidelines available as a reference tool, we think it is especially useful for clinicians who are relatively new to MSK practice. It can help immensely with conducting a thorough assessment, accurately diagnosing a condition, and making sound clinical decisions in the management of shoulder pain.



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