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Movement System Impairment Syndromes of the Cervical Spine: the Role of the Shoulder
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Movement System Impairment Syndromes of the Cervical Spine: the Role of the Shoulder

When: Friday, September 15, 2017
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Where: San Diego Convention Center
111 West Harbor Drive
Room 7B
San Diego, CA  92101
United States
Presenter: Shirley Sahrmann, PT, PhD, FAPTA
Contact: RPierson@ccapta.org
(916) 929-2782 x105

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Course Description

This course will provide a review and update of the concepts and principles of movement system impairment (MSI) syndromes. Specific syndromes of the cervical spine will be described as will be the role of the scapula and related syndromes. The presentation will include discussion and demonstration of the MSI exam used to diagnose these syndromes and identify the contributing factors. The course includes both lecture and subject demonstrations of the examination with volunteer subjects with neck pain. The treatment programs which are based on the results of the examination used to assess specific subjects will also be included in the presentation. The recent research and the best available evidence concerning movement system impairment syndromes will be presented.
The participant should be able to discuss the key concepts of: 1) path of least resistance, 2) establishment of muscle activation patterns based on activity, 3) precision in motion is critical, 4) relative stiffness, 5) relative flexibility, 6) micro-instability, 7) no magic in an exercise unless demonstrating desired performance, 8) presence of a muscle does not mean optimal performance, 8) alignment and movement as controlled by muscles in series, and 10) the way daily activities are performed is critical.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course the participant should be able to:

  • Discuss the movement system impairment concepts

  • Describe the contributing muscle and movement adaptations

  • Describe the movement system impairment syndromes of the cervical spine

  • Discuss the role of the shoulder in cervical spine syndromes

  • Describe the exam used to diagnose the MSI syndromes of the cervical spine.

  • Discuss the treatment programs for the cervical spine.

  • Discuss the best available evidence for the syndromes.


Shirley Sahrmann, PT, PhD, FAPTA is a Professor Emerita of Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri. She received her bachelors degree in Physical Therapy, masters and doctorate degrees in Neurobiology from Washington University. She is a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association and is a recipient of the Association's Marion Williams Research Award, the Lucy Blair Service Award, and the Kendall Practice award, the Inaugural John H.P. Maley Lecture and Mary McMillan Lecture awards. Dr. Sahrmann has also received Washington University's Distinguished Faculty Award, the School of Medicine’s Inaugural Distinguished Clinician Award and an honorary doctorate from the University of Indianapolis. She has also received the Bowling-Erhard Orthopedic Clinical Practice Award from the Orthopedic Section of the APTA. She has served on the APTA Board of Directors and as president of the Missouri Chapter.

In addition to her numerous national and international presentations, Dr. Sahrmann has been a keynote speaker at the World Confederation of Physical Therapy, and at the Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Japanese, and Danish national congresses.

Dr. Sahrmann's research interests are in development and validation of classification schemes for movement impairment syndromes as well as in interventions for these syndromes. Her books, Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes and Movement System Impairment Syndromes of the Cervical and Thoracic spines and the Extremities, describe the syndromes and methods of treatment.


Approved for 7.5 contact hours or 0.75 CEUs


San Diego Convention Center
111 West Harbor Drive, Room 7B
San Diego, CA 92101


Registration received by September 1, 2017

$250 APTA  members
$400 Non-members


Add $100 for late registration.


All cancellation requests must be received in writing – no exceptions. A full refund, less 20% service fee, if cancellation is received 14 days prior to the start of the course. No refunds after September 1, 2017.