Shoulder Fundamentals: Medical Screening, Orthopedic Principles & Conservative Management

Course Instructor


  • Orthopedic Certified Specialist
  • Certified Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapist
  • ​Fellow American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist

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Course Description

​​Mr. Kolbeck developed this 2-day course to provide a thorough review of organovisceral and sinister pathology capable of presenting as shoulder pain, as well as fundamental orthopaedic knowledge for examination and treatment of the shoulder girdle based on current “best” evidence.

Information provided includes a detailed organovisceral systems review and medical screening—an important precursor in the era of physical therapy autonomy and direct access—as well as shoulder girdle relevant components of the cervical scan. Clinically applicable theory, fundamentals of neuromusculoskeletal anatomy and biomechanics, pathoanatomy, orthopedic and manual therapy, and biomechanical evaluation and treatment principles are provided. An eclectic based assessment and treatment approach is presented to enhance the practitioners’ skill sets for proper differential diagnosis and effective current evidence enhanced management.

Emphasis is on region specific pathologies about the sternoclavicular, acromioclavicular and glenohumeral joints as well as the scapulothoracic articulation. Lesions particular to the overhead throwing athlete are also presented as well as the latest research relative to evaluation and treatment. Hands-on lab will included peripheral joint mobilizations and grade 5 HVLAT’s (high-velocity low-amplitude thrust), soft tissue release and muscle energy techniques, as well as evidence based progressive resistive, OKC/CKC and proprioceptive exercise, taping techniques and patient education.


  • Understand organovisceral causes of shoulder girdle pain and apply an organovisceral screen
  • Perform cervical scan components related to determining non-localized generators of shoulder girdle dysfunction
  • Describe fundamental anatomical, biomechanical and neurovascular structures and functions of the following:
    • SC, AC, GH joints and ST articulation
    • The rotator cuff…its function, its vascular pattern, the 4 classifications of rotator cuff lesions, and best current evidence for conservative and post-surgical rehab
    • Shoulder girdle force couples and Kibler’s scapula dyskinesia classifications
    • The ‘scaption’/plane of scapula concept and its clinical significance
    • Pure GH Motion and Total Arc of Motion
  • Understand the classifications of ‘impingement’ and apply empiridence based evaluation and treatment strategies of each
  • Describe the normal vs. hypermobile vs. unstable GH joint and apply empiridence based management
  • Identify capsuloligamentous and labral instabilities with current literature supported clinical tests and apply lesion specific management strategies
  • Describe the 2 types and 4 stages of Adhesive Capsulitis and apply empiridence based management
  • Develop effective clinically reasoned empiridence based rehab interventions via hands-on treatment and evidence based exercise including OKC/CKC exercise, manual rhythmic stabilization and proprioception
  • Apply manual therapy techniques including soft tissue release and muscle energy techniques, peripheral joint mobilizations, and HVLATs to the AC joint


Karl, I was writing to let you know that your course has really changed the way I practice.  I took your medical screening and shoulder course last year and it has helped a lot. Recently I evaluated a patient and I sent her for further medical evaluation for a possible pancoast tumor.  I sent her to her primary and he called me back and asked why I thought she needed screening. I practically read out of your course book (she had some typical signs and symptoms as well as a history of smoking).  He was very impressed with the info, ran the tests and they came back positive. I just wanted to write to say thanks; I don’t think that I would have picked this up without your course. Thanks again. Portland, OR​

Not a ‘this is the way to treat’ approach like most continuing ed courses…this class was fantastic. Ty Francis, MPT, ATC, CSCS Homer, AK

Karl is very organized…very helpful answers. Excellent communication. Can’t wait to use and teach to staff. Jeff Blanchard, MSPT Salem, OR

Karl is a patient, knowledgeable instructor; appreciate 1:1 help with manual techniques…adapts to needs of individual requests. Portland, OR

Best hands on of any PT course taught. Leslie Hoffman, Eugene, OR

Instructor is very knowledgeable; respectful of audience; receptive to questions…very good information and presentation. Portland, OR

I received a greeting card not long ago that was perfect for this. If I had time to find it, I’d have given it to Karl. It says in large letters: “Are tangerines just oranges that didn’t want it bad enough?” In other words…what is our potential and are we working to expand that? Karl is an example of reaching and working toward the potential of what a proficient physio can be. It’s great to learn from and share ideas with such an individual. Jennifer Truax, PT, ATC, Salem OR

Very prepared and informative…good hands on by instructor during lab. Maui, HI

Great evidence based with references and studies about information on ‘why’. Erik Aspengren, PT Fairbanks, AK

This course was more useful and relevant than any other CE course I’ve taken. Tim Huber, PT Fairbanks, AK

Case studies very helpful and engaging. Portland, OR

Very knowledgeable; good groundbreaking recent evidence. Astoria, OR

Really enjoyed this course…lots of well-organized material and notebook will be very helpful…lots of references. Seattle, WA

Great presentation style – professional yet relaxed. Karl provided excellent blend of case study, research, evaluation, intervention and exercise. Tim Palmesano, MSPT, SCS Medford, OR