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

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

By David Bertone, PT, DPT, OCS

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 intl the most suitable
candidate is found. Makes sense, right?

Just as job recruiters screen applicants to find the best ft 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

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 participation in
sports and other recreational activates 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 kick start 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 identfy 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 activates you enjoy most.

Dr. Bertone is a doctoral trained physical therapist and board-certified in orthopedic rehabilitation by
the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. e is President of db Orthopedic Physical Therapy
with locations in Lincrof and Manalapan, NJ. Dr. Bertone can be reached at 732-747-1262 or via e-mail

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