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The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was explicitly designed to help healthcare professionals and clinicians screen individuals for any risks of injury. This also includes any dysfunctional or performance-limiting movement prevalent in sports, where athletes and amateurs alike perform poor movement patterns and frequently incur repetitive injury.

The FMS is now presented commercially as a manual screening process for athletes, but it’s recently been developed to include various equipment to help with the screening process. Certifications for those conducting the screen were also added, along with seminars, books, and different educational materials. 

It is a tool to identify any asymmetries, which later sheds light on the movement deficiencies people need to address. These deficiencies encompass fundamental movement patterns, such as stability, muscle strength, motor control and flexibility. Once identified, these deficiencies will be subject to a set of corrective exercises, all tasked to prevent the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.

To fully understand the importance of the Functional Movement Screen, however, it’s integral to take a look at all the benefits:

Benefit #1: It helps prevent injuries from occurring

As previously stated, the primary function of the FMS is to help identify any problems with movements. This includes dysfunctions that can result in injuries, making it a vital tool in the sports world. For this reason, coaches and athletes are now better able to correct any abnormalities and avoid over-exercising, exertion, and other practices that may trigger the dysfunctions. As a result, a primed, symmetrical body ready for competition is always guaranteed—and athletes are better protected.

Benefit #2: It identifies the cause of pain 

The Functional Movement Screen involves different movements to assess the patient’s overall function. It can also help assess covert problems before they begin to worsen. For example, feeling pain while doing any of the seven movements can indicate a problem area.

On average, when testing a group of people, 20% usually report that they felt some sort of pain during the process. FMS helps identify this pain and can help diagnose underlying injuries and other medical conditions. With this, professionals can then prescribe corrective exercises and other forms of treatment.

Benefit #3: It provides a more systematic approach

The FMS has clear procedures that are essential in getting reliable assessment results. Its systematic approach makes it more precise in its assessment, and multiple studies attest to its reliability. Furthermore, numerous coaches can also reliably repeat the same procedures even with minimal training because of their well-defined checklists and criteria.

The Bottom Line

When examining the research and using the test for yourself, it’s easy to see why the functional movement screen is used and respected globally. However, it’s important to note that the FMS is a screening process and never a diagnostic tool. In other words, the FMS will have limited capacities, including failure to identify the root causes of poor test results.

This, however, should not be cause for worry. Physiotherapy exists to get more astute diagnostic feedback and to provide corrective exercises once weaknesses are identified. It’s essential to understand that the human body is incredibly complex and requires an open mind and a willingness to adapt—even with innovative measures such as the FMS in place.

For affordable injury rehabilitation in Bondi to get more astute diagnostic feedback and to provide corrective exercises, Invigor Health has you covered. We offer you services that fix your pain and future-proof your body for the best fit and active lifestyle. We offer movement screens, running assessments, and other benefits guaranteed to help you be better. Reach out to us to learn more or book an appointment today!

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