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Shoulder injuries may be common in American football. In order to allow for assessment and for treatment, it may be important to be able to access the shoulder without initial removal of the shoulder pads. This can be done by sliding the hands up inside the shoulder padding to be able to palpate or feel the shoulder joint to identify any bony landmarks or any joint space that may be created in such as a dislocation or fractures. Being able to then have a member of the team to maintain the joint stable and then allow for other members to be able to remove the equipment to minimize the amount of discomfort to the player.

Assessment of the torso can also be achieved by sliding the hands under the chest plate of the shoulder pads or from the underneath side to be able to palpate the chest or the sternum.