Developed by Gray Cook in the United States, the functional movement screen (FMS) was created to help standardise movement assessment. With the FMS we can derive objective measures to assess injury risk in performance activities. The FMS looks at 7 fundamental movements such as squatting, inline lunge, straight leg raise as well as rotary stability and trunk push up. With the screen the patient is ranked from a score out of 3. 3 is a score showing you are able to perform the task well, where 1 is a poor score and indicates either a range of motion issue or a strength/stability issue. Total score is out of 21.
The main objectives of the FMS from a clinical stand point is to try and identify any flaws with movements and more importantly any asymmetries between right and left. Asymmetries can lead to overload on certain joints and over time lead to injury. A score lower than 13/21 is generally considered poor and indicates the person is a high risk of injury in a dynamic sport. If there are significant differences between sides ie. a score of 1 on the right leg forward lunge compared to a 3 on the left leg, this can signify a problem. It helps our physios communicate properly with you, your coach or your trainer to discuss the safest and most effective ways for you to exercise.
After the test, you’ll get a report with some recommendations about how best design your exercise programs to minimise your chances of injury.
If big issues come up during the test, like pain or gross limitations in the way you move, we may suggest you return for a follow-up physiotherapy consultation to appropriately address those problems.