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A Hierarchical Approach to Assess, Treat, & Prescribe for the Shoulder

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A Hierarchical Approach to Assess, Treat, & Prescribe for the Shoulder

A Hierarchical Approach to Assess, Treat, & Prescribe for the Shoulder

This course includes
59:16 of Course Material (View)
Lifetime access after purchase
Certificate of completion
The instructors
This course was recorded in February 2021


The shoulder joint is one of the most prone-to-injury areas of the body due to the complexity of its design and mobility available to it, and can stem from a variety of different reasons.

The number of tests and exercises used to assess, diagnose and treat the shoulder can be daunting and overwhelming!

How would you like to have some order and flow to your assessment and treatment approach to find out where the root cause is coming from and how to treat it most effectively?

Join Tom Swales, MPT, ATC, FCAMPT, AMTc, CSCS, CGIMS, CAFCI, RKC, for this 60-minute online course (free for Embodia Members) that will take the complexity out of the shoulder complex. 


Learning Objectives 

  • Why you must screen and clear out the cervical spine and neurological system with every client first.
  • A systematic approach to assessing the shoulder and the influencing structures
  • The hierarchical importance of the structures as it pertains to the nervous system and our movement development.
  • The 7 Principle Pillars of a healthy shoulder.
  • The 3 Primitive Pillars that restores the shoulders' natural function.
  • A 3 step formula treatment formula that can be done with or without manual therapy techniques.
  • How to create robust and durable shoulders using various strength tools such as barbells, kettlebells, calisthenics, bands and more.
  • How to be more precise with your treatment and rehabilitation intervention.
  • How to teach your clients to better manage and strengthen their shoulder dysfunctions.
  • How to get greater patient outcomes and build your practice around becoming the go-to shoulder expert.
  • The do's and don'ts when treating the shoulder
  • How to pinpoint the where, what and how when assessing the shoulder



This course is for all rehabilitation professionals including, but not limited to: physiotherapists/physical therapists, occupational therapists, kinesiologists, athletic therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and PTA/OTAs.

The instructors
Tom Swales

Tom Swales is a practicing physiotherapist and strength coach with a particular focus on human movement. He is the founder and creator of Swales Performance Systems (SPS), which educates advanced knowledge of human movement. Toms work and ideas are at the forefront of fitness, conditioning, injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Tom completed his Bachelor of the Arts in Athletic Training with honours at Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa while on a soccer scholarship in 2002. He continued on to complete his Masters of Physiotherapy at the University of Western Ontario in 2006. He holds many advance diplomas and certifications specializing in manual therapy, acupuncture, strength and conditioning and concussion management. He has been a physiotherapist and strength coach for the Canadian Men’s Alpine Ski Team, a Lead Medical Practitioner for Soccer at the TO Pan Am Games as well has a loyal clientele of elite / professional athletes.

Tom’s treatment philosophy includes using manual techniques, acupuncture to restore normal joint and soft tissue mobility, then supplementing it with functional corrective exercise techniques and movement strategies to prevent injury re-occurrence. Patient education on their injury and understanding of how and where movement is produced is an integral part in our treatment philosophy and preventive strategies.

Through his work, Tom has the vision to empower people and help them gain confidence in their potential and abilities. His whole body approach and empathetic character complement his extensive experience perfectly, allowing him to guide his clients through their issues and through the challenge of achieving the healthy bodies they deserve.

Tom teaches his approach to fellow professionals in the health and wellness industry to offer workshops in movement foundations and whole body exercise therapy. Toms integrated knowledge across the fields of human movement, strength and performance has given him the foundation to create a user-friendly framework for assessment and prescription of exercise for all types of physical mobility impairments.

Tom’s social life is busy, filled with clinical work, speaking engagements, writing, self-enhancement and family time with his wife and two young children.

Checkout Tom’s professional development site:

Course Material included in this course
  • Taking the Complexity out of the Shoulder Complex
  • Welcome
  • Slides
  • Introduction
  • Principle Pillars 1-3
  • Principle Pillars 4-7 and Primitive Pillars
  • Changing Shoulder Rehab
  • Questions Pt1
  • Questions Pt2
  • Feedback
  • Continue learn with Tom Swales
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