Examination and Treatment of Shoulder Injury in the Overhead Athlete

June 8 – 9, 2019

This two-day advanced course will provide the clinician with the most recent evidence-based practice guidelines when treating overhead athletes from youth to adult. With an increase in early sport specialization, this course will highlight the risks and benefits of early sport specialization in pediatrics and how care differs from the skeletally mature adult. Participants will receive the latest research on Tommy John repairs for UCL tears, shoulder labral pathologies and pediatric diagnoses that are seen in the overhead athletes.

This course will focus on the science and art behind performing a comprehensive evaluation and creating a well-rounded, complete plan of care for overhead athlete. Over 40% of the class is spent hands-on with lab session where clinicians are practicing evaluation skills, manual skills and advanced therapeutic exercises that can be utilized the next day in clinics with your athletes. A special focus will be on getting overhead athletes back into the game safely with utilizing video throwing analysis and evidence based return to play protocols. With the growing changes in the health care coverage, the overall course objective is equip the participants with the most up to date evidence to improve overhead athletes’ outcomes quicker. A comprehensive course packet will include pictures, references and clinical pearls for quick reference in the clinic. This course is designed PT’s, PTA’s AT’s and OT’s to optimize their knowledge and skills when treating shoulder injuries. Techniques presented will enable the clinician to be better qualified to provide the best outcomes in a value-based medical system.

Course Objectives

  • Identify the changes in injury incidence and the associated risks in sports for the overhead athlete.
  • Identify common overhead athlete diagnoses and their signs and symptoms.
  • Review and perform an evidence based upper extremity evaluation.
  • Discuss the literature behind manual therapy techniques as a treatment for the overhead athlete.
  • Perform soft tissue mobility and joint mobilization techniques for the upper extremity with emphasis on the overhead athlete.
  • Explain the role of the lower extremities in the overhead athlete.
  • Discuss and apply the literature behind therapeutic exercises and their progression for the overhead athlete.
  • Identify and perform the current evidence for return to play criterion for the overhead athlete.
  • Discuss optimal throwing mechanics and apply this understanding to treating overhead athletes.
  • Discuss current literature on performance enhancement protocol for the overhead athlete.


Texas Children's Hospital
Feigin Center
1102 Bates, 1st floor conference room
Houston, TX 77030

Cost -  


Earned credits -  

Certificates for attendance are provided upon course completion.

This course is 15 contact hours/1.5 ceus. This course is 18 contact hours/1.8 ceu’s for DC, NY or IL therapists.

This course is applicable for PT, PTA, OT, OTA, AT. This course meets the continuing education requirements for physical therapists in the States of AK, AL, CO CT, DE, DC, ID, IN, MA, MO, MT, NH, NC, OR, RI, SC, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI and WY. IL PT provider #216000074. This course meets the Colorado Physical Therapy Board of Examiners criteria for 15 hours, 15 Category-1 PDA points. This course meets the standards set forth in section 1399.96 of the California Code of Regulation and is approved for 15.0 hrs, 1.50 CEU’s for physical therapy continuing competency license renewal requirements in the State of California. This course meets the ceu requirements specified in the Utah Physical Therapy Practice Act Rule. The New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions has approved NAS as a continuing education sponsor for physical therapists and assistants licensed in New York. This activity is provided by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners Accredited Provider # 1907038TX and meets continuing competence requirements for physical therapist and physical therapists assistant licensure renewal in Texas for 15 ccu’s. North American Seminars, Inc. is an AOTA provider for continuing education, provider #4487. AOTA approval hours are 15. The AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products or clinical procedures. The AK, AR, DE, DC, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MN, MS, MO, MT, OH, OR, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VT and VA occupational therapy regulatory boards accept courses presented by AOTA providers to meet the needs of OT continuing educational requirements. Additionally, this course meets the ceu requirements for OT’s licensed in AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, KS, ME, MA, MI, NE, NJ, ND, UT, WA, WV, WI and WY. Meets the NBCOT requirements. BOC provider # P2047, 15 hrs, category A, call for evidence-based approval status. Meets the NBCOT requirements. Call 800-300-5512 for specific state approval numbers as they are continually updated.

Registration - Register online


Eric Bellm, PT, DPT, OCS is a physical therapist within the Orthopedic and Sports Division of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Eric is a 2011 graduate of the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program from Saint Louis University and a 2012 graduate from the Ohio State University's Orthopedic Residency program. Eric is a board certified specialist in orthopedic physical therapy from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. He specializes in the evaluation and treatment of overhead athletes, particularly baseball pitchers. He is the lead therapist for the Thrower's clinic at Cincinnati Children's Hospital where he utilizes slow-motion video software to perform 2-D video throwing analyses for injured patients and uninjured clients seeking enhanced performance as a throwing athlete. He also serves as a mentor for the orthopedic and sports residency at Children's. He has lectured locally and nationally on a variety of shoulder and elbow topics specific to the upper extremity athlete.


Day One

  • 7:30 8:00 Registration
  • 8:00 8:45 Epidemiology of the Overhead Athlete’s Arm: What are we really doing right?
    • What are the risks for injury?
    • How can we manage risk as health care providers?
  • 8:45 9:30 Common UE Injuries: From Youth to Pros
    • Little league shoulder to SLAP tears
    • UCL injuries to ulnar neuritis
  • 9:30 9:45 Break
  • 9:45 10:45 The UE Evaluation- Evidence vs. Art
    • How to combine evidence base material with the art of an evaluation
    • Upside Down Pyramid Approach
  • 10:45 12:00 Upper Extremity Evaluation Lab:
    • Thoracic, shoulder, elbow, wrist evaluation skills
    • Specific special tests, flexibility and muscle testing
  • 12:00 1:00 Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:00 1:45 Manual Therapies- The Science Behind our Hands
    • Evidence for uses of manual therapies
    • Why and when to use manual therapy
  • 1:45 3:00 Soft Tissue Mobilization: From Identifying the Correct Tissue to Treatment- Lab
    • Upper extremity soft tissue palpation
    • Soft tissue mobilization techniques to decrease pain and improve mobility
  • 3:00 3:15 Break
  • 3:15 4:15 Manual Therapy- Joint Mobilizations – Lab
    • Joint mobilization techniques: thoracic, scapular, glenohumeral, elbow, wrist to improve ROM
  • 4:15 6:00 Building a Base- The Reason We Work on Legs with Shoulder Athletes
    •  Evidence on LE and how it affects the UE
    • Improve upper extremity performance with the lower extremity

Day Two

  • 8:00 9:00 The Science : Therapeutic Exercises
    • Evidence behind out treatments and their progressions
    • Isometric vs. isotonic vs. plyometric: When and why?
  • 9:00 10:00 The Lab: Therapeutic Exercises
    • Thoracic, Scapular, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist progressions
    • From Post- op to plyometric
  • 10:00 10:15 Break
  • 10:15 11:15 Return to Play- How to Know When
    • Evidence behind when to return to play: time vs. criterion
    • Upper extremity tests for return to play
  • 11:15 12:00 Return to Play Protocol
    • Functional testing for the UE
    • Closed Kinetic Chain Test, Shot Put test and more
  • 12:00 1:00 Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:00 1:45 The Throwing Motion- Breaking Down a Pitchers Mechanics
    • Evidence behind throwing mechanics
    • What increases risk and decreases performance
  • 1:45 2:30 Fixing the Faults- Finding What Works for Each Athlete- Video Lab
    • Video break down and finding fixes for them
    • Round table discussion on corrections
  • 2:30 3:30 Improving Performance: Weighted Ball and Long Toss Programs
    • Evidence behind performance enhancing programs
  • 3:30 3:45 Course Wrap Up/Questions


Wyndham Medical Center
6800 Main
Houston, Texas 77030
Nightly rate: $109.00 (price varies based on room availability)

Hotel Registration link