The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a series of movement tests used to assess your risk of injury, as well as to determine if there are any faulty movement patterns, imbalances or weaknesses that need to be corrected. Important for any type of movement, sport or life in general. Everyone should have their movement assessed, but here are the top eight reasons to do so.
The beauty of living in Canada is the change of seasons. The changes are great for stimulating the body and mind with different forms of exercise and movement. But there are many times when the body gets used to moving a certain way, and then we place it in a different environment, and bam, things fall apart. These can include simply going from a golf swing to a slap-shot in hockey, or from swimming to cross-country skiing. There are times when sports and activity complement each other well, but sometimes they can play tricks on our brain and muscle memory. Most people get their skiis prepped at the beginning of the ski season, and their bikes tuned in the spring, do your body a favor and treat it the same way!
2. Nagging injury, or frequent bouts of re-injury
Anything that lasts longer than a few days, or occurs more than 1x a month, should be assessed. There is always a good reason for pain. Pain is the body’s warning system that something is not right. Ruling out inadequate rest and improper training programs, there might be a faulty movement pattern that is stressing the body and leading you down the path to the injury. Any pain in movement should be checked by a health professional, such as a chiropractor, a physiotherapist, or medical doctor familiar with musculo-skeletal injuries. That is what the chiropractors at The Live Well Centre are here for!
3. Finally! Pain-free after injury or surgery.
Whenever the body is injured, or has to recover from surgery, the body will receive signals to move and compensate differently to help protect the affected site. This is nature at its best. However, often times after the original injury has healed, the compensatory and faulty muscle patterns linger. This would be like using a crutch, long after the injury has healed, and the crutch itself becomes the new “normal”. We have to reboot our brains and muscle patterns. It is similar to replacing a corrupted or old computer software program, with a new and updated version.
4. After illness or prolonged period of relative inactivity.
We lose what we don’t use. So after a time of relative inactivity, dormancy sets in, atrophy occurs, and muscle memory is lost. No matter what the cause, it is time to get a fresh look and perspective of your body, motor system and nervous system. Kind of like taking you car to the mechanic after it has been sitting in the garage for a long time. You can’t simply pick up where you left off, you want to set new parameters based on the screen, and new goals to achieve as a result.
5. Significant change in weight, due to pregnancy, or changes in diet or activity.
Large changes in weight, either up or down, will affect the load pattern on the muscles and joints, and therefore may cause a compensation pattern that may not be safe for the long term. Always best to have a check-in and determine the best way to navigate the new weight range. This is especially important after a pregnancy. Not only are there direct mass changes, the ligaments and muscles themselves have deformed and changed shape, which can lead to potential injury.
6. Plateau in training.
If you have reached a plateau in your training, or are not getting the results you feel you should with your effort, then you definitely want to get screened. Sometimes just a se tweak in how your body is adapting and moving can cause a significant impairment to its performance and hence its efficiency to respond to the stress of training.
7. Starting a new training regimen or sport
The start of any program has to start with the basics. As football legend Vince Lombardy stated, “You have to go the basics of tackling and blocking to win games.” With the body, you have to get the basic movements with your body weight down before progressing to more complex movement patterns or adding loads to increase power, endurance or speed. The basics are a simple squat, lunge, shoulder push, hip hinge and movement, and core stability. Get those fundamentals down right before all else.
8. Every 12 months as a preventative screen
We take our car in to get the oil checked, our teeth screened by the dentist every 6-12 months. Why shouldn’t we do that with our movement and body? Get it checked before it becomes an issue. It is simpler and cheaper to prevent an injury, than to correct and treat it after the fact.