Functional Movement Screening and Injury Prevention
Dr. Joel Hessler of Total Health Systems of Macomb County
When dealing with athletes and sports injuries these questions are often asked; “how could I have prevented this injury,” or “what can I do to prevent this injury from happening again.” The answer is knowing what your individual strengths and weaknesses are. Functional movement screens are becoming an integral part in any pre-participation assessment for athletes. These tests simultaneously assess multiple aspects of function; such as range of motion, strength, and balance. With this an individual’s limitations or asymmetries can be related to the performance of fundamental movement patterns.
The screening is comprised of seven movement patterns and positions that are thought to provide the foundation for more complex athletic movements. These test are easy to assess, take little time to complete, and are appropriate for any athlete regardless of age or experience.
The lower body assessment focuses on mobility and stability of the trunk, hips, knees, and ankles.Quadriceps, hamstring, gastrocnemius, and soleus muscle flexibility is also assessed. Finally, stride mechanics are evaluated along with pelvis stability. The upper body assessment focuses on mobility and stability of the scapula, shoulder, upper extremities, and trunk; as well as assessment of thoracic spine extension. Additionally, assessment of muscle strength, coordination, balance, proprioception, and the absence or presence of pain is performed throughout the screening.
During the screening performance of each individual movements is scored and a composite score is obtained upon completion. Each individual score will represent limitations and right-left imbalances related to movement and function. With the highest possible score being 21; a score of 14 or less represents a 36% increase in the probability of suffering a serious injury. Those scoring 15 or higher have only a 15% probability of injury compared to 51% with a score of 14 or less.
As health care providers we can take the assessment of each individual area, and customize a treatment plan with the goal of improving your overall score. Whether it be mobility, stability, or strength; the multidiscipline team at Total Health Systems will be able to help you stay active and injury free. Call and make your appointment today with one of our three Total Health Systems locations.