Ask a Physical Therapist To “Screen” Your Movements This Spring


Let’s talk about the last time you—or someone close to you—interviewed for a new job. Chances are that the first step was a phone screen with your potential employer, and when you passed that portion of the process with flying colors, you were then invited for an in-person interview. At that stage, the employer probably asked you to answer a series of questions and to demonstrate your skills through a test or two. The process is set up in a way that narrows down the options until the most suitable candidate is found. Makes sense, right? 

Just as job recruiters screen applicants to find the best fit for an open position, your PT will ask you to perform a series of exercises so that she can observe and understand your body mechanics to uncover any issues or limitations. Used in combination with a full evaluation and assessment, these so-called movement screens are just one tool in identifying the most appropriate treatment or prevention program for you. But unlike that test you may have taken during a job interview, the screen is not testing your skills or abilities, it’s simply a way of identifying how your body functions during a variety of movements. 

Now that spring is in full swing, it’s the perfect time of year to make an appointment with your physical therapist for a movement screen. The warmer weather means more time spent outdoors participating in sports and other recreational activities that may be physically demanding. A PT checkup that includes a movement screen will ensure that you’re physically able to engage in popular spring and summer adventures, whether it’s exploring in the woods, tending to your garden, or swimming at your family’s lake house. 

Physical therapists perform movement screens for a variety of reasons, including: 

  • To identify areas of strength and weakness 
  • To uncover issues or rule them out 
  • To determine readiness to begin a safe exercise program 
  • To improve sport performance (for both novice and elite athletes) 

A movement screen is something that you can have done whether you have a nagging injury or are simply ready to kickstart your activity level after a long hiatus. Gaining an understanding of how your body performs during basic exercises such as squats and lunges helps your PT ensure that you can safely jump on a bike or into a pool this summer. And just like an employer screens candidates to identify the one individual who is likely to thrive on the job for many years to come, a movement screen can help you develop a lasting and fulfilling relationship with the activities you enjoy most.

"The therapy did exactly as I had hoped, it helped alleviate my shoulder pain, and stopped the numbness from creeping down my arm to my hand. The exercises I was shown had the added benefit of helping keep my neck and traps loose and not so tense all the time. A great experience that I would recommend to anyone needing physical therapy."

− C. Wesley

"A2 Physical Therapy is very professional. What I liked the most is that they are very thorough with their assessments and personalizing exercises/treatment according to my pain/limitations/injuries. I really do feel stronger and feel confident to get even stronger! Everyone has a super positive attitude which helps with motivation. Thank You!"

− A. Mun

"My name is Irvin Markham. I am a member of A2 Physical Therapy and Fitness. I have been a member of several gyms but never had a personal trainer. With no schedule or workout plan, I would always eventually quit. My wife suggested to go see her personal trainer Kristi Cruz. What a difference the experience has made in helping me get the most out of my workouts. Kristi has not only helped me get 71 year old body back in shape physically, but mentally as well. She has put me on a set schedule and encourages me to do all the things I need to do to stay healthy. I cannot thank Kristi and the entire staff at A2 for all of the support they have shown me."

− Irvin