After APTA's House of Delegates adopted a new vision statement for the physical therapy profession, the association's Board of Directors recognized that in order for the physical therapy profession to achieve the vision as articulated by its guiding principles it would be necessary to integrate consistent application of the "movement system" (as mentioned in the guiding principle on "Identity") in physical therapist practice, education, and research.
Before that could happen, it was important to define the concept of the movement system. The Board therefore convened a work group to develop that definition. After careful consideration of various theoretical, linguistic, and conceptual possibilities, the work group decided on a 2-part definition of "movement system," which the Board has adopted.
Definition of the 'Movement System'
The "movement system" represents the collection of systems (cardiovascular, pulmonary, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, and musculoskeletal) that interact to move the body or its component parts.
Physical Therapist Practice and the Movement System
Human movement is a complex behavior within a specific context.
- Physical therapists provide a unique perspective on purposeful, precise, and efficient movement across the lifespan based upon the synthesis of their distinctive knowledge of the movement system and expertise in mobility and locomotion.
- Physical therapists examine and evaluate the movement system (including diagnosis and prognosis) to provide a customized and integrated plan of care to achieve the individual's goal-directed outcomes.
- Physical therapists maximize an individual's ability to engage with and respond to his or her environment using movement-related interventions to optimize functional capacity and performance.
View the Movement System Diagram (.pdf)
Learn more about the movement system in the white paper below.
White Paper: Physical Therapist Practice and The Movement System (.pdf)
The white paper was published in August 2015.
Movement System Summit
The summit brought together 100 thought leaders in the physical therapy profession to provide input on recommendations for integrating the movement system concept into physical therapist practice, education, and research.
Video: Embracing the Movement System Identity
At CSM 2016, Lisa K. Saladin, PT, PhD, FASAHP, provided a quick overview of the movement toward universal identification via the movement system.
Podcast: Rothstein Roundtable on Movement System
Features panelists Stephen J. Hunter, PT, DPT, OCS; Barbara J. Norton, PT, PhD, FAPTA; Christopher M. Powers, PT, PhD, FAPTA; and Lisa K. Saladin, PT, PhD, FASAHP.
The Movement System Brings It All Together
An upcoming summit will explore the implications and goals of recognizing the movement system as the core of physical therapist practice, education, and research. Meanwhile, here's some background to bring you up-to-date.
PT in Motion Magazine (May 2016)