Functional Movement Screening and Assessment
Since the day I graduated from high school until this very day, I have committed nearly every aspect of my life to the study of human movement. It started out as a personal interest during my teenage years, as I wanted to find the best way to be bigger, stronger, and faster. From there I became a personal trainer at a local gym, helping others reach their goals. Then, I decided that I wanted to commit the rest of my life and education to the study of the human movement experience. So, I converted my science degree into a kinesiology focus. But that wasn’t enough. Once I had a university degree focused solely only human movement, I decided that I wanted more, so off I went to chiropractic school in California.
The point of this mini story is to tell you this: something was missing. It wasn’t until I had to start dealing with many of my own injuries and movement impairments that I realized that there was a common denominator missing in the human movement equation. I had suffered many injuries in the course of my lifetime. I had visited many different healthcare and fitness practitioners in an attempt to regain what I had lost while injured. For the most part, they were all great! The healthcare community helped me get rid of my pain. The fitness industry helped me regain some strength. But something was still missing.
I am a notably body-aware person. If you have ever suffered a substantial injury of any sort, you’ll know what I mean when I say this: just because the pain is gone does not mean that everything is “right”. Sure, my range of motion was back to normal. Sure my pain was gone, hopefully for good. But I got the sense that I had done more than just alter a structure in my body, I had injured my ability. I felt like I was going to injure myself gain. Not to mention, my performance was suffering, even though the parameters of pain and strength were back to normal (for me). My function was not the same as before; I was moving less than optimally. I needed a different kind of solution. Herein lays the genius of the Functional Movement Screen test (FMS).
Did you know that the #1 predictor of injury is previous injury? This fact alone should tell you that conventional rehab and performance are inherently flawed. To me, this says that there is much more than just pain and quantified range of motion to be looked at when determining if someone is ready for activity. What, then, do we assess? We look closely at movement, because movement is life.
The FMS is a predictive system, created by Gray Cook and honed by years of experience. It is a reliable, seven-step screening system designed to rank movement patterns basic to normal function of active people. By screening these patterns, we are able to identify, rate, and rank movement limitations and asymmetries. By using the FMS screen on every patient that comes through our doors, we are acting in the well-established synergistic premise that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Once the pain is gone, the real fun begins!
Sometimes, health professionals who have the best of intent make this faulty assumption: if each joint involved in a movement has normal range or mobility, then a movement involving all of these joints will also be normal. Although this assumption is likely subconscious for most, it is inherently flawed logic. Normal segmental motion does not guarantee normal human movement! We cannot assume that managing a dysfunctional system’s defective element will inherently restore proper function to the entire unit. This is what was missing! I needed a way to integrate my rehab back into the performance. I needed a way to know, objectively, that the changes I had made through treatment/exercise were going to leave a positive influence on the way my body moves when I was having fun. Was the pain just leaving temporarily, only to come back when my faulty movement patterns caused me to reinjure myself? The FMS system gives me a way to measure and rank the answer to this question.
I hope that you’re reading this and thinking that it all makes sense. You might even be wondering how it worked for your’s truly (Dr Benjamin Stevens). Perhaps there was something missing the last time you were discharged from your PT or chiropractor. Perhaps you’re wondering about your own status…”How do I move compared to how I should?” If this is you, give us a call! We’d be more than happy to explain the finer details of Functional Movement Screening to you in person at the Valeo Health Clinic, free of charge. So what are you waiting for? Find out today how you can improve your performance and prevent injuries. Now’s your time to become Healthy, Strong, and Empowered.