As some of my evaluations may have indicated, I typically use the Selective Functional Movement Assessment for my mobility assessments. The system is built on using landmarks for determining full mobility or a deficit in mobility. While that aspect is easy, the system also emphasizes observation of even spinal motion throughout, otherwise the motion is labeled as dysfunctional. Take a look at the Cervical Flexion Top Tier Test out of the SFMA shown below:
By simply assessing landmarks, this individual passes the Cervical Flexion Top Tier Test because his chin reaches his chest. However, if you look closely (or palpate the curve), you will notice the individual's natural cervical lordotic curve is never reversed with flexion. The majority of motion is coming from the lower cervical joints with excessive anterior shear. This sort of observation and analysis does not just apply to the SFMA. Any joint measurements or movement analysis should incorporate some aspect of assessing joint motion. We have reviewed other joints in the past such as anterior glide of the humerus, extension rotation syndrome of the lumbar spine, etc. Be sure to consider the quality of the joint movement and not just the quantity in your examinations.