Treating the Patient with Hemiplegic Shoulder Pain (2013P)


This course is designed to give the healthcare practitioner an understanding of the etiologies of shoulder pain in patients who have suffered a stroke as well as treatment techniques used to prevent and alleviate the problem of hemiplegic shoulder pain.

Course Description

This course was updated in January 2013 to include recent research on the effectiveness of interventions for hemiplegic shoulder pain and recent statistics on the incidence and financial impact of stroke. Learners will also find this updated course to be in a more pleasing and user friendly format.

The incidence of shoulder pain in patients who have suffered a stroke is estimated to be as high as 72%, a significant percentage as hemiplegic shoulder pain can severely limit patients’ independence in life tasks. The differential diagnosis of this problem is difficult as the various etiologies are often intertwined. A review of anatomy and kinesiology of the shoulder complex and description of the primary deficits of CVA help to explain the etiologies of hemiplegic shoulder pain. Understanding of the various etiologies assists the practitioner in planning effective treatment to prevent and minimize the problem. Assessment and treatment approaches for the various etiologies of hemiplegic shoulder pain are described for the practitioner. Research studies on etiology and effectiveness of treatment approaches for hemiplegic shoulder pain are also discussed. This course is appropriate for occupational therapy practitioners, physical therapy practitioners, and nursing staff.

Teaching methods for this course include course content delivered in text format, animation, graphics, and live web links. To pass the course, learners must successfully complete the mid-course exam and the final exam with a minimum passing score of 80%.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the Learner will be able to

  • Identify 3 of the 5 functions of the Clavicle bone of the shoulder complex
  • Identify at least four (4) of the primary deficits of CVA to explain the etiologies of hemiplegic shoulder pain
  • Identify 1 assessment tool needed to develop effective treatment planning strategies to prevent or minimize the shoulder problems exhibited
  • Develop a progressive, safe treatment program for patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain.
  • List the muscles that cross the shoulder joint that provide gleno-humeral stability.
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