Subacromial Shoulder Pain: A Review of BESS Publications

Subacromial Shoulder Pain is the most common type of shoulder pain.  It has many different causes and making the correct diagnosis is important to ensure patients receive best care. In recent years there has been much attention focused on this issue and specifically on which treatment options are most effective.

In order to improve and standardise care, since 2014, BESS has led in the development of a number of evidence based national guidelines related to this topic, as well as supporting numerous national research studies. Most recently the 2021 Primary, Community and Intermediate Care Shoulder Pain Guidelines have been incorporated into the NHS Evidence Based Interventions (EBI) Programme.

The National Guidelines on subacromial shoulder pain from BESS, BOA, the NHS EBI and NICE have been listed in chronological order and can be accessed below. The guidelines include diagnosis aids, guidance for commissioners, and treatment information for those involved in pathways of care for patients suffering with subacromial pain.

Guidelines (available from library below)

  • 2021: BESS/BOA BOAST for Subacromial Decompression Surgery – Due for publication in early 2023
  • 2021: BESS Shoulder Pain – Primary, Community and Intermediate Care Guidelines
  • 2018: Exercises to treat your shoulder pain: a resource for GPs and their patients
  • 2020: NHS Evidence Based Interventions Programme Two
  • 2018: NHSE Evidence Based Interventions Programme One
  • 2017: NICE Clinical Knowledge Summary – Rotator Cuff Disorders
  • 2015: BESS/BOA Patient Care Pathway for Subacromial Shoulder Pain
  • 2014: NICE accredited BESS/BOA Commissioning Guidance for Subacromial Shoulder Pain
  • 2014: GP Diagnosis Poster

Subacromial Shoulder Pain


Shoulder Pain - Primary, Community and Intermediate Care Guidelines

Shoulder Pain, Diagnosis, Treatment and Referral Guidelines for Primary, Community and Intermediate Care - a BESS/BOA Guideline summary to support the NHS EBI Programme
Size: 704.92 KB
Hits: 9244
Date added: 01-11-2020
Date modified: 22-03-2021

BESS BOA Statement Responding to CSAW Study

BESS BOA Response to CSAW Study
Size: 105.76 KB
Hits: 1044
Date added: 30-06-2018
Date modified: 22-03-2021

Exercises to treat subacromial shoulder pain: a guide for GPs and patients

Size: 580.73 KB
Hits: 2636
Date added: 01-01-2018
Date modified: 29-03-2021

Subacromial Shoulder Pain - 2015

Size: 391.43 KB
Hits: 3723
Date added: 01-01-2015
Date modified: 22-03-2021

Subacromial Pain Shoulder Commissioning Guide 2014

BESS BOA RCSEng CSP Commissioning Guide - Subacromial Shoulder Pain
Size: 1.55 MB
Hits: 588
Date added: 02-01-2014
Date modified: 24-03-2021

Diagnosis of Shoulder Pain in Primary Care (Poster)

Size: 570.25 KB
Hits: 2345
Date added: 01-01-2014
Date modified: 24-03-2021


Do you have an interest in shoulder and elbow surgery and rehabilitation? Sign up to keep up to date with our guidelines and publications

We don’t spam! Read our Privacy notice – British Elbow & Shoulder Society ( for more info.