How the NFL Predicts Injuries

Westside Functional Movement ScreenThe Functional Movement Screen has been shown to predict and reduce the likelihood of injury.  This has been tested in the NFL and the FMS is now part of the NFL Combine.  The United States Marine Corps utilizes the FMS for specialized communities within that branch.  It is also used in several college football programs and with many professional golfers.   Titleist Performance Institute uses the FMS to assess golfers and their unique movement dysfunctions.  It is taught as part of the Titleist Certified Provider program that many chiropractors and therapists have participated in.

The seven tests  of  the FMS are graded 0-3 with a total score of 21 possible.  If during any of the movements there is pain,” 0” is the score and that particular issue is addressed with appropriate treatment modalities after the entire screen is performed.  If one of the tests is performed perfectly, it is graded  a “3”. A score of  “2”  is given if the movement is done “well enough” or with minimal compensation.  And, a score of “1” is given if the patient or athlete is unable to either get into position to do the test or unable to perform adequately. A minimum of “2” points for each of the seven tests for a total score of 14 is used as a as the baseline to participate in strength training or athletics.  A score under 14 increases probability of injury and decreased performance.

red-number-1The first screen is the Deep Overhead Squat Movement Pattern.  It demonstrates fully coordinated ankle, hip and thoracic spine mobility and core stability with the hips and shoulders functioning in symmetrical positions. By the way, this test is critical especially for your golfers!

red-3d-numbers-setThe second screen is the Hurdle Step Movement Pattern Test.  It is designed to challenge the body’s proper stepping and stride mechanics as well as stability and control in single leg stance.  This is really helpful in determining symmetry left and right side while assessing hip mobility and balance.  This test also determines how well we can stabilize during acceleration.

red-number-3The third screen is the In-Line Lunge Movement Pattern Test.  This provides a quick appraisal of left and right function in a basic pattern and is intended to place the body in a position that will focus on the stresses as simulated during rotation, deceleration and lateral type movements.  This one is done balancing on a 2x 6 inch board with feet in line and maintaining perfect posture. This test also demonstrates how well and athlete stabilizes during deceleration.

red-number-4The fourth screen is a Shoulder Mobility “Reaching” Movement Pattern Test. This test demonstrates the natural complimentary rhythm of the scapular-thoracic region, thoracic spine and rib cage with reciprocal upper extremity shoulder movements. In other words, you are really testing thoracic spine mobility  in addition to gleno-humeral  movement and scapular stability.

red-number-5The fifth screen is the Active Straight Leg Raise Movement Pattern Test.  This is an “apparently” simple test that has the patient supine on the ground and identifies active mobility of the flexed hip and  initial and continuous core stability while the opposite hip remains extended and flat on the ground.  Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this test as it also demonstrates the ability to disassociate the lower extremities while maintaining stability in the pelvis and core.

red-number-6The six screen is the Trunk Stability Push-Up Movement Pattern Test .  It is used as  a basic observation of reflex core stabilization and is not used as a measure of strength since only one repetition is required.  The goal is to initiate movement with the upper extremity without allowing movement of the hips or pelvis.

red-number-7The seventh and last screen is the Rotary Stability Movement Pattern Test and it is a complex movement requiring proper neuromuscular coordination and energy transfer from one segment of the body to another through the torso.  It has roots in the basic creeping pattern that follows the crawling pattern in the developmental sequence of normal human growth and locomotion. It looks like a birddog, horse stance or whatever you want to call getting on all fours!

The purpose of the FMS is to find the weak links in your patients and alleviate them with specific corrective exercise strategies.   When this occurs, the individual or athlete will have greater movement efficiency which will lead to  improved performance and a decrease in injury potential.

The Functional Movement Screen is designed for the individual that is not in pain or has an obvious injury. The Functional Movement Screen  can be easily integrated for all patients to provide a continuum of care and rational reason to continue with treatment even when  pain or injury has resolved.


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