What is the Functional Movement Screen?
The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is part of doctrine of exercise known as Functional Movement Systems that was developed through scientific research and years of practical application. This exercise physiology has placed effective and efficient movement at the footing of any treatment or performance training program.
The FMS itself is an evaluation of seven movement patterns that form the foundation of human movement and function.
These movements are:
• The deep squat, which mimics the developmental position that humans perfected as toddlers.
• The hurdle step, which mimics the developmental moment of taking the first steps.
• The in-line lunge, which mimics the developmental plateau of moving from crawling to standing.
• Shoulder mobility which represents when we first began reaching for objects from our backs.
• Active straight leg raise, just like when we first brought our feet to our mouths as newborns.
• Trunk stability push-up, mimicking babies pushing their bodies up on their hands.
• Rotary stability, which takes us back to when we used both our hands on feet to move around.
By progressing through the seven points of the movement screen, we can filter out the movements that cause pain and those patterns that have limitations or asymmetries. The insights from this screen may lead to further assessments to shed more light on specific issues.
Why use a Functional Movement Screen?
There are many benefits of utilizing the screening for both the patient and the therapist. The FMS provides exercise professionals with a snapshot of how an individual moves within some foundational patterns. Specifically it can give insight into the mobility of the joints employed to perform the movement and the control of these joints as well as the rest of the body throughout the pattern. Dr. Spallone and team at Alternative Physical Medicine of Colorado can then use this information to provide an unmatched level of exercise and rehabilitation. One of the best aspects of the FMS is that it allows for easy communication between our sports medicinepractitioners and exercise instructors.
The results of the movement screen allows:
• A sports chiropractor to identify and treat any areas of pain or immobility to allow for uninhibited movement
• A therapist to add FMS corrections to a client’s physical therapy and apply progressive corrective programming that will lead to more substantial and longer lasting results
• A sports conditioning coach to identify movement patterns that should not be externally loaded as a core exercise to prevent further injury and to apply functional training methods that will allow clients to move, feel and perform better
In addition, the FMS screening provides the client with a lot of information about their own movement and how that may be affecting their daily living. The FMS can give insight to the cause of one’s pain, what movements may exacerbate that pain and which patterns to avoid to prevent pain in the future. FMS research has also shown which scores indicate a higher susceptibility to injury. In other words, the FMS is delivering a functional baseline of movement ability.
More importantly than this snapshot of information, the FMS allows the client to pursue a treatment strategy for the pain, limitations and asymmetries that are identified. The intervention can be specifically identified, whether physical therapy is the answer, or simply a core strengthening program. Corrective exercises can be performed at home, in addition to rehab at our facility. This can lead to rapid improvements in pain level and functioning that will also be sustainable. The reason for this permanent recovery is that the FMS allows our sports medicine staff to address the underlying cause of the pain or dysfunction opposed to the pain itself. Now the FMS is more than a screen, it is a baseline to mark progress.
Who is the FMS for?
In a word: everyone. From the professional athlete to an individual with low back pain simply looking to perform functional movement again, screening is an important tool for the exercise professional to utilize with every client. Humans are amazing compensators and may have unknowingly masked an issue that the screen can flush out. This is why it is referred to as the Functional Movement Screen and not the Functional Movement Test or Assessment.
The FMS is for individuals looking for rehabilitation services that are results based and scientifically driven. We are not interested in the latest in new treatments or simply prescribing some “core strengthening”. The FMS provides use with a framework to determine the underlying cause of pain and dysfunction and then provide evidence based and progressive treatment.
The Benefits of Functional Movement Exercises
Using functional movement exercises as part of a rehabilitation or general fitness program has a multitude of benefits for both the short and long term.
Short-term benefits of functional movement exercises:
• A safer way to exercise, less chance of injury especially when supervised by our qualified staff
• Relieve stress and pain
• Decrease joint stiffness and muscle soreness
• Increase the impact of a single workout (functional exercises tend to be multi-joint, which has a greater metabolic impact that single joint movements)
• Can be progressed or regressed to individual ability levels
• Feel better at the end of the workout or therapy session instead of worse Long-term benefits of functional movement exercises:
• Decreases incidence of injury
• Place less wear and tear on the body than traditional exercises
• Translates to improved performance of everyday activities
• Conditions the body to move more efficiently by improving joint mobility and range of motion as well as core stability
• Improves coordination and balance
• Corrects poor posture and muscle imbalances
How do I get a FMS?
The most important aspect of obtaining a Functional Movement Screen is to find a certified exercise or rehab professional. Those local to the Denver/Littleton area can come to our facility to be run through the screen by certified individuals who were taught by certified instructors. The FMS certification has provided the staff with not only the knowledge to perform the screen, but to provide exercise and rehabilitation based on movement systems instead of individual joints or isolated areas of the body. Our professional and courteous staff has performed hundreds of screens on a variety of populations. Click here to schedule a FMS now!