Proper diagnosis is a first step in applying best available treatments, and prognosticating outcomes for clients. Currently, the majority of musculoskeletal diagnoses are classified according to pathoanatomy. However, the majority of physical therapy treatments are applied toward movement system impairments or pain. While advocated within the physical therapy profession for over thirty years, diagnostic classification within a movement system framework has not been uniformly developed or adopted. We propose a basic framework and rationale for application of a movement system diagnostic classification for atraumatic shoulder pain conditions, as a case for the broader development of movement system diagnostic labels. Shifting our diagnostic paradigm has potential to enhance communication, improve educational efficiency, facilitate research, directly link to function, improve clinical care, and accelerate preventive interventions.