Differential Diagnosis for Shoulder and Upper Extremity


About the Course:  
The purpose of this course is to improve the knowledge and skills of clinicians in the differential diagnosis of shoulder and upper extremity pain/conditions. Identification of red flag findings and systemic sources of upper extremity symptoms is outlined, and relevant clinical findings for the differential diagnosis of upper extremity conditions are presented.  

Course Objectives: 

  • Interpret the fundamental role of differential diagnosis for healthcare providers.
  • Predict red flag and yellow flag conditions for shoulder and upper extremity conditions.
  • Interpret important findings to consider when accurately diagnosing shoulder and upper extremity problems.  
  • Predict potential viscerogenic and systemic origins of shoulder and upper extremity pain.
  • Categorize the important findings that confirm a neuromuscular or musculoskeletal source of a patient’s shoulder and/or upper extremity problem.
  • Predict the important objective findings and limitations in occupational performance that confirm a neuromuscular or musculoskeletal source of a patient’s shoulder and/or upper extremity problem. 

About the Author 
Dr. Lorie Schleck, PT, DPT, MA  has designed and taught numerous continuing education courses focused on orthopedic and geriatric rehabilitation. Her passion is to create courses that are filled with evidence-based information and conclusions while simultaneously being clinically practical and relevant. Her teaching, which has been characterized as gracious and enthusiastic, is laden with real-life clinical anecdotes and examples gleaned from her years of experience in a variety of clinical settings.  

Lorie has worked in sports medicine/orthopedics and geriatric settings. She has taught continuing education nationally, both in-person and virtually and has taught in both PTA and DPT programs. She is a Board Certified Specialist in Geriatrics. She lives in St Paul, Minnesota where she can be found outside biking or kayaking or inside reading. 

How to Receive Credit

  • Read the entire course online or in print.
  • After completion of the course, complete the final examination. A passing grade of 75% is required. Test questions link content to learning outcomes as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention. 
  • Note to Nursing professionals: Depending on your state requirements, you will be asked to either affirm that you have completed the course, or you will be required to complete the Post-test included in the course.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest 
The contributors to this course have no conflicts of interest relative to its content. Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity. 

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement 
It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners. 

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. 

©2024: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation or circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers. 


Colibri Healthcare, LLC’s Direct Access courses are approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy. Colibri’s courses meet the standards for physical therapy continuing education activities in Pennsylvania.

Colibri Healthcare, LLC is an AOTA Approved Provider of professional development (Provider #9118). The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA or indicate AOTA approval of a certification or other professional recognition.