move better

Why you should get a movement screen

I have 2 questions for you...

How often do you go to your primary care doctor for a preventative exam, dentist for a cleaning or take your car in for an oil change?

Now how often do you put the same amount of time, effort or money into yourself and to check in on how well your body physically moves? 


We tend to put ourselves on the back burner especially when it comes to pain, injuries, preventing injuries or simply moving better. Most of us let pain live on and “deal with it”.


We either don't have time, think it will just go away or simply think that's just how it's going to be. 

You wouldn’t just "deal with" a toothache or a heart condition right? 

I'm challenging you to put yourself and your body first! You should have a general understanding of what your physical deficits are, how to manage them, improve them, and prevent them from becoming bigger issues.

Luckily we are here to help you!


So what is a movement screen?

A movement screen at Arrow Physical Therapy consists of a one-on-one 55-minute session where we will look at:

  • range of motion, mobility, and flexibility of your muscles and joints

  • strength

  • functional movement patterns

We will also look at specific movements related to your activities           (clean or snatch technique, kipping pull-ups, running mechanics, etc.). 


We will discuss your goals and give you corrective exercises to begin improving the way you move.  This will help you continue the activities you love and reduce your risk of injury.  We may also suggest other treatments such as physical therapy for hands on techniques or massage therapy depending on what we uncover during the screen. 

Beth has taken the FMS Level 1 and 2 course and can use the FMS during your movement screen if appropriate.

Beth has taken the FMS Level 1 and 2 course and can use the FMS during your movement screen if appropriate.

Another tool used for movement screening is called the Functional Movement Screen or FMS. The FMS assesses a person’s quality of movement using a series of 7 movement tests and 3 clearing tests to identify pain or limitations that need to be addressed.  


Each of the 7 functional movements are graded on a scale of 0-3. The goal of the screen is to score a 14 or above with no asymmetries or pain during the movements. Research has shown that a score of 14 or greater is associated with a lower risk of injury. 

Beth has taken the FMS Level 1 and 2 course and can use the FMS during your movement screen if appropriate.

The purpose of using the FMS is not only to identify individuals at risk for injury and to prevent future injury, but also to provide a systematic tool to assess and monitor progress over time. 

Why should you get a movement screen?

Anyone and everyone should have a regular check in with a physical therapist but especially if you lead an active lifestyle. If you are a Crossfitter, gym goer, weekend warrior, runner, triathlete, skier, climber, hiker, etc. then get yourself checked out!  

Your regular Doctor’s visit may look at vitals, briefly assess range of motion and gross strength but will not go into detail looking at biomechanics, specific ROM or mobility deficits, strength imbalances or movement compensations and motor control issues.

Good movement is imperative to improve fitness and performance.

Good movement is imperative to improve fitness and performance.


Most of the time I find that clients wait too long to get pain or an injury checked out. Even if your pain goes away, it will likely creep back up at some point in time. 

If we let things, like pain, continue over time our bodies end up compensating...

  • Muscles and joints tighten up.

  • Some muscle group get weaker than others.

  • Our neuromuscular system gets out of whack.

Our bodies are amazing so most of the time we don't even realize this is happening. Down the road this can cause more breakdown of your joints and tendons leading to more serious conditions that could potentially limit your activity level. 

How do I schedule a movement screen?


We make it easy at Arrow Physical Therapy to schedule online

You do not need a physician referral for a movement screen, therefore you can get in sooner rather than later! Movement screens are not covered by your insurance. More information on that here.

The goal is to keep you pain-free, prevent progression of injuries, prevent surgery, and keep you doing the activities you love.  


Don’t wait for an injury to happen to check in with a physical therapist.

If you have an injury, don't wait for it to get worse!

tAKE control of your body 




Written by Beth Ansley, PT, DPT, OCS
For questions please contact me at