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Posterior Shoulder Tightness - PT31

Posterior Shoulder Tightness

Implications for the Physical Therapist

by Morey J. Kolber, PT, PhD, OCS, Cert MDT, CSCS
(4.4 / 634 ratings )

This course is credentialed for:
Physical Therapy (1.00 Hour(s))

Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50


Shoulder pain affects up to 67% of the population at some point in their lifetime. Although the etiology of shoulder pain is multifactorial, specific impairments such as posterior shoulder tightness have been associated with many common conditions. While the concept of posterior capsule tightness is not new to physical therapists, the term “capsule” is a misnomer because the impairments associated with PST may be attributed to both contractile and inert tissue. Generally speaking, PST may be defined as soft tissue restrictions of the posterior shoulder structures. Clinically applicable measurement procedures that should be used to quantify PST area available, as well as efficacious interventions designed to mitigate PST in both the general and athletic populations.


The goal of this posterior shoulder tightness continuing education program is to familiarize physical therapists with the concept of posterior shoulder tightness, including its underlying etiology and biomechanical consequences. The program will present a clinically applicable measurement procedure that may be used to quantify PST and efficacious interventions designed to mitigate PST. After you study the information presented here, you will be able to:
  • Identify the soft tissue structures responsible for PST
  • Recognize valid and reliable measurement techniques used to quantify PST
  • Recall the biomechanical faults arising from PST
  • Identify common diagnoses attributed to PST
  • Describe interventions designed to address PST

Approval Information
OnCourse Learning is an approved sponsor by the New York State Education Department of continuing education for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants from 10/21/09 to 10/20/18.
This activity is provided by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Accredited Provider #GED012010TPTA2012004 for 1/1/2010 to 1/31/2013 and #1601004 for 02/01/13 to 01/31/16 and meets continuing competence requirements for physical therapist and physical therapist assistant licensure renewal in Texas. The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE.
OnCourse Learning is recognized by the Physical Therapy Board of California as an approved reviewer and provider of continuing competency courses for the state of California.
OnCourse Learning is a licensed physical therapy continuing education sponsor (#216.000275) with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation from July 2013 through September 30, 2016.
This course has been approved as meeting the continuing education requirements for PTs and PTAs by the Ohio Physical Therapy Association (approval no. 11S1770 for 12/01/11 to 12/01/12, 12S2066 for 12/02/12 to 12/02/13; 13S1882 for 12/03/13 to 12/03/14; 14S1722 for 12/04/14 to 12/04/15), the Florida Physical Therapy Association (approval no. CE110017863 for 01/01/11 to 12/31/11; CP120018035 for 01/01/12 to 12/31/12, CP130019645 for 01/01/13 to 12/31/13; CP140021485 for 01/01/14 to 12/31/14; CP150024015 for 01/01/15 to 12/31/15); the Tennessee Physical Therapy Association for Class 1 Continuing Education Requirement (approval no. 4110 for 12/01/11 to 11/30/12, 4807 for 12/01/12 to 11/30/13; 5255 for 12/01/13 to 11/30/14; 5819 for 12/01/14 to 11/30/15); the Pennsylvania Board of Physical Therapy (approval no. PTCE002768 for 01/14/12 to 12/31/12, PTCE003861 for 01/01/13 to 12/31/14; PTCE006377 for 01/01/15 to 12/31/16); and the New Jersey Board of Physical Therapy Examiners (approval no. 173-2012 for 02/01/12 to 01/31/14; 243-2014 for 02/01/14 to 01/31/16). Approval of this course does not necessarily imply the Florida Physical Therapy Association supports the views of the presenter or the sponsors.
This course has been approved by the Maryland State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.1 CEU for 11/29/11 to 11/29/15 and by the Nevada State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners for 0.1 units of continuing education for 12/09/11 to 07/31/13; 07/31/13 to 07/31/15; 07/31/15 to 07/31/17.
The Illinois Chapter Continuing Education Committee has certified that this course meets the criteria for approval of Continuing Education offerings established by The Illinois Physical Therapy Association (approval no. 437-4102 for 01/01/12 to 01/01/13, 437-4565 for 01/01/13 to 01/01/14). According to the Rules for the Administration of the Illinois Physical Therapy Act (section 13460.61) published by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant applying for re-licensure in Illinois can earn a maximum of 50 percent of their required continuing education hours from self-study. The hours awarded of this course are designated for self-study CE credit.
Other states may accept this course for meeting their CE requirements. Check with your state association or board.

Course Originally Released on: 6/27/2013
Date of Most Recent Review: 6/27/2013
Course Termination/Update Date: 6/27/2016


Unless stated above, the planners and authors of this course have declared no relevant conflicts of interest that relate to this educational activity. OnCourse Learning guarantees this educational activity is free from bias.

Please see CE Course Instructions to learn how to earn CE credit for this module.


For Florida professionals:

This course completion will be electronically reported to CE Broker as required per Florida Statute 456.025(7). Click here to view your CE Broker transcript and check the status of your CE requirements with a FREE 7-day CE Broker trial subscription. It may take up to 24 hours for the course to appear on your CE Broker transcript.

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Read more about the new license renewal process at and claim your free Basic Account in CE Broker to see what has already been reported for you.

Please check the licenses/certifications section under my account (after logging in) to make sure you have entered a valid FL license number. This information is required for correct reporting of your course completions to CE Broker.

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Kerry W - Morgantown , WV  ·  Nov 28, 2015
I liked the explanation and use of the measurement tools as well as the pictures.
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JoAnn W - jacksonville, FL  ·  Nov 27, 2015
good review of biomechanics of shoulder complex
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Mary Jo V - Fanwood, NJ  ·  Nov 23, 2015
Good review with some new information
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Heidi Q - Montclair, NJ  ·  Nov 17, 2015
I would recommend this course, it's a good CEU for us in OP private practice
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James R - Fabius, NY  ·  Nov 08, 2015
Useful knowledge for wide ranging patient populations with shoulder pain.
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Price: $19.00
CE-PRO Price: $9.50