Manual Techniques for the Shoulder

Original Editor - David Drinkard, Dana Tew.

Top Contributors - Dana Tew, David Drinkard, Rachael Lowe, Kai A. Sigel and Kim Jackson  

Posterior Glenohumeral Mobilization


Patient Position: Supine

Therapist Position: Force Hand on Proximal Humerus

Mobilization: A posteriorly directed force is directed perpendicular to the humerus

Inferior Glenohumeral Mobilization


Scapulothoracic Mobilization

Scapulothoracic mobilization-

Scapulothoracic mobilization is performed when there is dysfunction of the scapulothoracic articulation (e.g. restriction of upward rotation or lateral glide). Mobilizations that are commonly used include medial/lateral glides, superior/inferior glides, upward and downward rotation, and diagonal patterns.

  • Patient postition- typically, the patient is lying side-lying with the involved side up and the arm resting on the therapist's arm. The therapist stands in front of the patient, facing them. Hand contacts for these glides are the inferior angle of the scapula and the acromion. Direction and magnitude of force are dependent upon the technique being utilized and the amount of motion that is desired.[3]


  1. Posterior Glide to increase flexion and internal rotation. Available from:
  2. Manual Therapy for the glenohumeral joint. Available from:
  3. Hertling D, Kessler RM. Management of Common Musculoskeletal Disorders: Physical Therapy Principles and Methods. 4th ed. LW&W, Philadephia, 2006.