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What is Functional Movement Screen?

A look at a new injury-risk assessment screen—Functional Movement Screen.

From the Field

Can the Functional Movement Screen really predict injury?

Overview

Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

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Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS) is a new tool designed to evaluate and identify human movement patterns that could increase one’s risk for future injuries.

Background

Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS) is a new testing tool to assess fundamental human movement patterns in an effort to identify limitations and asymmetries that could predispose a person to training injuries due to overuse. Improper movement patterns can compromise the intended effects of training and physical conditioning.

Myths and Claims

Developers of this screening tool claim that the FMS score can be used to predict possible musculoskeletal injury.

Facts

FMS testing can be administered quickly and easily to identify improper movement patterns, which can then be addressed by using corrective exercises to restore proper movement. The Screen consists of seven tests: the squat, hurdle step, lunge, shoulder mobility, active leg raise, pushup, and rotary stability. Each test is scored on an ordinal scale from 0 to 3. The sum of each test yields a total FMS score that is used to predict risk of injury and recommend beneficial corrective exercises to restore proper movement patterns and track progress. The Screen requires little space and can be applied at any fitness level. Many professional athletic teams are currently using FMS to reduce injury and improve performance.

Cautions

Individuals being screened must adequately warm up prior to testing. In addition, FMS should be administered by an FMS certified professional. Currently certified professionals in the United States are listed on the official FMS website.

Summary for Military Translation

FMS may be appropriate to identify service members at risk for injury and recommend exercises to restore proper movement patterns and effectively “prehabilitate” to reduce future injury rates and preserve force strength. Research into the efficacy of the method is ongoing.



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