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Shirley Sahrmann Podcasts

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10 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Shirley Sahrmann. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Shirley Sahrmann, often where they are interviewed.

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10 of The Best Podcast Episodes for Shirley Sahrmann. A collection of podcasts episodes with or about Shirley Sahrmann, often where they are interviewed.

Updated daily with the latest episodes

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How Poor Movement Creates Injury with Dr. Shirley Sahrmann

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On episode 79 show I had the honor to sit down with one of the most influential people in the world of physical therapy – Shirley Sahrmann. Years ago, the physical therapy world was very much so a manual based treatment profession with very little skill in exercise. Shirley’s work over the past 6 decades has changed all this. She is credited with being one of the leaders in establishing the physical therapy profession as experts in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries through evaluation of movement (something called the movement system). This gives the PT a unique approach to helping athletes understand WHY injuries occur in the weight room and how to really go about fixing them the right way.

Shirley's book "Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes:" https://www.amazon.com/Diagnosis-Treatment-Movement-Impairment-Syndromes/dp/0801672058

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Jan 17 2020 · 56mins
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Shirley Sahrmann: A woman that can fix physical pain.

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Shirley Sahrmann PT, Ph.D. is a world expert at identifying how a person moves, sits, sleeps, runs... is a cause of their pain.  She has pioneered the field of physical therapy from one that takes orders from doctors, to medical professionals that can diagnose why people are in pain and what they can do to fix it.  Dr. Sahrmann stopped by the Vance Crowe studios in route to Japan, because she travels constantly to teach how to fix the physical pain felt by people.  During the interview Dr. Sahrmann discussed her philosophy on pain, why some people shouldn't play certain sports, and how simple things like the way we sit makes us feel in pain for our entire lives.
May 22 2019 · 1hr 16mins

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Shirley Sahrmann PT, PhD, FAPTA

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Welcome back to the podcasts!  This episode features Shirley Sahrmann.  Many of you likely know of Shirley from her research, teachings with Washington University in St. Louis, or her texts for Movement System Impairment Syndromes.  I wanted to speak with Shirley to gain a better perspective on her background and thoughts regarding her point of view.  I've noticed more in more in my own practice how much the neuromuscular system and create illusions of mechanical dysfunctions, so had thought that maybe Shirley could provide perspective on that.  Fortunately, Shirley corrected me on my perceptions about what Movement System Impairment Syndromes are.  I'd certainly love to speak with Shirley again about these topics, and more.  Please enjoy and let us know your thoughts!
May 21 2019 ·
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Dr. Shirley Sahrmann- Moving the Physical Therapy Profession Forward

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Stephanie & Brandon chat with Dr. Shirley Sahrmann at the 2018 APTA NEXT Conference in Orlando, Florida. Shirley shares her story into how she has transformed to where she is today, discussing the movement system, education solutions, discussing her ideal vision for the physical therapy profession, and much more.

Shirley's Email Address: sahrmanns@wustl.edu 

Shirley's Article on "The Human Movement System: Our Professional Identity"; https://academic.oup.com/ptj/article/94/7/1034/2735665

Washington University Movement System Impairment Syndromes Courses: https://pt.wustl.edu/education/movement-system-impairment-syndromes-courses/

“Movement System Impairment Syndromes of the Extremities, Cervical and Thoracic Spines” textbook by Shirley Sarhmann and Associates: https://www.amazon.com/Movement-Impairment-Syndromes-Extremities-Cervical/dp/0323053424/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1540422683&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=%E2%80%9CMovement+System+Impairment+Syndromes+of+the+Extremities%2C+Cervical+and+Thoracic+Spines%E2%80%9D

Washington University Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program Website: https://pt.wustl.

Washington University Physical Therapy Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/wustl_pt

Washington University Physical Therapy Program Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WashUPT/

Shirley's Interview on Talus Media Talks Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/apptac-shirley-sahrmann-on-the-movement-system/id1255575461?i=1000399341600&mt=2

Shirley's Interview on The Movement Fix Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/23-movement-precision-movement-impairment-syndromes/id915914866?i=1000417124140&mt=2

Shirley's Interview on BJSM Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/professor-shirley-sahrmann-pt-phd-outlines-movement/id330966919?i=1000385133293&mt=2

Shirley's Interview on Physiopedia Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/shirley-sahrmann-the-movement-system/id1230910633?i=1000385095947&mt=2

Shirley's Interview on the Mechanical Care Forum Podcast

Part 1: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-229-shirley-sahrmann-part-1-stopping-the-cause/id840625419?i=1000419009421&mt=2

Part 2: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/episode-230-shirley-sahrmann-part-2-a-system-of-systems/id840625419?i=1000419427746&mt=2

Shirley's Interview on the Jetset Rehab Education Podcast 

Part 1: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/afternoon-in-los-angeles-shirley-sahrmann-podcast-part/id1122834839?i=1000375726980&mt=2

Part 2: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/shirley-sahrmann-part-ii/id1122834839?i=1000372016971&mt=2

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HET LITE Tool: www.pteducator.com/het    Anywhere Healthcare: https://anywhere.healthcare/ (code: HET)       Biography:  

Shirley Sahrmann, professor emerita of physical therapy at Washington University, studies movement patterns and their impact on musculoskeletal disease and overall health.

Dr. Sahrmann, BSPT ’58, MA ’71, PhD ’73  was the first to propose that there is a human movement system—a physiological system that produces and supports move­ment of the body. In 2000, she published a seminal textbook on the subject, Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes, that was translated into seven languages. A leader in her field, she has brought distinction to Washington University’s Program in Physical Therapy, ranked in the top 1 percent of physical therapy programs nationwide.

As a co-chair of Our Washington: Together, We Make a Difference, the faculty and staff component of the university’s Leading Together campaign, Dr. Sahrmann is focused on a big goal: to further advance the university’s mission among those who know it best. She says that for the university to succeed, it must increase support for scholarships, fellowships, research, and pro­grams.

Dr. Sahrmann has been investing in the School of Medicine for many years. She sponsors the annual Movement System Scholarship and several years ago estab­lished the Shirley A. Sahrmann Endowed Scholarship Fund, both in the Program in Physical Therapy. To help ensure the pro­gram’s success, she recently made an estate commitment for continued support of scholarships and a lectureship in physical therapy.

Nov 21 2018 · 46mins

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Episode 230 - Shirley Sahrmann, part 2: A System of Systems

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In episode 230, join us for part two with Dr. Shirley Sahrmann. She and her colleagues have developed the Movement System Impairment Syndrome approach. She’s been a leader and advocates for physical therapy over the last 60+ Years. She shares her thoughts on comparison and contrast of her approach with others including MDT. She also shares advice for us to promote ourselves and our profession and more. This week on MCF!


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Show Notes

Reliability of Assessment and Research

Dr. Sahrmann agrees that it is important to have a reliable assessment method to diagnose a condition. She further talks about the current research for MSI classification system and its categories. 

Similarities and Differences between Classification Systems

Dr. Sahrmann believes that the biggest similarity in all systems is to find the aberrant movement; and the difference is in the way it is treated. MSI focuses on avoiding the movements that cause pain while MDT focuses on repeated movements in the opposite direction. She gives a story to support her point of view for importance of first diagnosing “what is wrong” before fixing it. The biggest benefit of which is avoiding patients returning with the same complaint periodically. 

In classifying and treating patients our goal is not to focus on patho-anatomy but kinesio-pathology as Dr. Sahrmann likes to call it; i.e how movements induce pathology. 

Advice to the Profession

Dr. Sahrmann believes that as a non-life saving healthcare profession we are going to hit challenging times, as insurance companies focus more on getting cost out of healthcare. Hence,  it is important to make people realize how important movement is to maintain health. A recent research study by her colleague concluded that people are more inclined to adhere to movement changes with daily activities than to exercise. This finding Dr. Sahrmann believes is important to drive home the point that correcting faulty movements and teaching patients how to do it, helps them in long term. 

Further Research Areas

Dr. Sahrmann would like to see further research projects that are able to link kinesio-pathology to patho-anatomy; understanding the effect of faulty movements on the anatomy of the joints. Improving our understanding of movement and its effects, will help decrease the variability of our profession and improve the quality we provide as therapists. 

Words to the Wise

Dr. Sahrmann advises that it is important to have a systematic examination method that helps with pattern recognition. She further recommends to question age old assumptions that were taught and focus on more evidence based practice. Further, it is important to understand mechanics and that we examine the evidence before accepting and practicing it. 

The most important of all is, to diagnose and treat your patients through their lifespan. 

Qualities of a Good Therapist

Dr. Sahrmann believes that a good therapist will have a systematic examination method for their patients, will explain and educate the patient about their findings and diagnosis and the treatment methods will by in sync with the findings of the assessment. 

Dr. Sahrmann’s Quote

“Today’s evidence is tomorrow’s tragedy”

Helpful links

Linda Van Dillen, PT, PhD, FAPTA and her research for MSI with focused on low back pain


Paula Ludewig, PhD, PT, FAPTA


Introduction to MSI


Sep 10 2018 · 29mins
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Episode 229 - Shirley Sahrmann, part 1: Stopping the Cause

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Dr. Sahrmann is Professor Emerita of Physical Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri.  She received her bachelor’s 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 Inaugral 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 Inaugral 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 Orthopaedic 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, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Japan, 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. She maintained an active clinical practice specializing in patients with musculoskeletal pain syndromes until her retirement in July 2012.

In episode 229 I’m joined by Dr Shirley Sahrmann. She’s a physical therapist of more than 60 years. Along with her colleagues, she’s developed the Movement System Impairment Syndrome method. She shares some of their professional journeys, her views on physical therapy and even her opinion of the contrasts of her system versus others, including MDT. This week on MCF!


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Show Notes


Dr. Sahrmann is a retired physical therapist, who worked at Washington University, St. Louis her entire career. Working at the same place for the entirety of her career is what she calls was an old fashioned way of working. 

She is still actively involved with giving seminars and lectures to students and attending lab. She is well-known for her popularization of the Movement System Impairment Syndromes (MSI).

Professional Journey

Dr. Sahrmann graduated from Washington University, St. Louis and worked in a rehab clinic for 9 years. She career with seeing neurological cases, initially polio patients and then a lot of stroke and spinal cord injury patients. During her time, there was limited knowledge as to the reasoning behind treatment and due to lack of satisfactory answers that bothered her, she returned to the same university to pursue the PhD program. After completion of her PhD, the staff at the University was keen to hire her and that is where she remained. 

Mentors and Initial Work

She talks about the people who influenced her during the initial years, her work with monkeys in the lab to learn more about upper motor neuron lesions and the colleagues that got her interested in musculoskeletal system. She then worked on the integration of neurological and musculoskeletal systems which lead to the Movement System Impairment Syndromes (MSI) classification system. 

Movement System Impairment Syndromes

The conceptual basis of the movement system impairment syndromes is that sustained alignment in a non-ideal position and repeated movements in a specific direction are thought to be associated with several musculoskeletal conditions.The basic premise is then to identify abnormal movement patterns, and identifying a pattern of treatment. 

Approaching a patient through this system will include, firstly, identification of the abnormal movement direction that consistently occurs too readily and of the movement decreases or eliminates the symptoms. The second is to identify contributing factors i.e. failure of certain muscles to activate which causes the abnormal patterns and symptoms. Multiple movements are tested before a conclusion is reached about association of specific muscle and movement deficits that are the cause of symptoms. One of the treatment aspects is teaching the patients to alter the movement patterns of their daily activities that are causing symptoms. 

Different Classification Systems

Dr. Sahrmann talks about the different systems and the similarities and differences. She also talks about how some of Robin McKenzie’s concepts influenced some of her MSI system. She talks about the perceived limitations in the practice of MDT; not the system and Robin McKenzie’s concept about it, but the way clinicians were practicing it and researching it where McKenzie therapy became synonymous to extension. 

As a profession she feels that most of us are guilty of being treatment driven and do not spend time in diagnosing the condition. She believes it is important for therapists to be diagnosticians before treatment is determined.

Sep 03 2018 · 34mins
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Shirley Sahrmann - The movement system

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This month we had the opportunity to record an hour long minute interview with Shirley Sahrmann whose commitment to our profession is truly inspirational. Shirley’s career spans over 50 years from the polio era to the current day, during which time she has focused on encouraging the profession to adopt the Movement System as our professional identity.
In this interview Shirley talks about her work and how she came to focus on movement as an important part of managing patients. Shirley discuss how physical therapists and physiotherapists need to realise that they are the Movement System experts, how we should use diagnostic categories to inform treatment and strengthen our profession, and how we should become lifespan practitioners. We didn’t talk about her book but Shirley is also the author of the book ‘Movement System Impairment Syndromes of the Extremities, Cervical and Thoracic Spines’.
So sit back and prepare to be encouraged to adopt the movement system as your professional identity…
Apr 28 2017 · 55mins
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Shirley Sahrmann Part II

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Dr. Sahrmann in Hollywood, 2016.

Here is part II of our interview with Shirley Sahrmann.  We discuss MSI controversy, PTs as lifelong practitioners, the future of PT, her version of retirement and more.

If you missed part I, HERE IT IS. 

Here is Part II

On soundcloud if you prefer

Jul 06 2016 · 35mins
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An afternoon in Los Angeles with Shirley Sahrmann - Podcast, Part 1

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Hanging out with Dr. Sahrmann at the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, CA.

The Jetset Rehab Education Podcast with Shirley Sahrmann.

We sit down with Dr. Sahrmann and discuss her early days in PT, how her upbringing shaped her clinical practice, her work with monkeys, and lots of Florence Kendall stories.

check out our class with the contributors to Dr. Sahrmann's book in Hawaii!!!
This October

We will release Part II next week.


to stream direct from our website:

May 24 2016 · 30mins
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23 - Movement Precision, Movement Impairment Syndromes; w/ Dr. Shirley Sahrmann

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Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, discusses movement precision and movement impairment syndromes

Apr 13 2016 · 1hr 5mins