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Preventing Movement Injuries

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LSU Health New Orleans’ Dr. Melinda Sothern, Professor of Public Health and Jim Finks Endowed Chair in Health Promotion, and Dr. Marc Bonis, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Health, have found that a screening test can identify movement deficiencies by age or gender that could result in injury before physical training begins. The research, conducted at the University of New Orleans by Dr. Bonis where he is an assistant professor at UNO’s Human Performance and Health Promotion Program, was published online this month in the Journal of Education and Social Policy, available here.
The authors noted that the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was introduced in 1997 as an easily administrable qualitative method to reduce the rate of injury and improve movement performance. The procedure is designed to be used after a subject has successfully cleared a medical physical, but before beginning specific physical training. The FMS consists of seven basic movements, three functional movements and four fundamental movements, which collectively mimic total human movement. The screen has become popular in the professional and elite ranks of athletes, such as in the NFL, the NFL combine, the NHL, and with Olympic and world class athletes and teams. The military and first-responder organizations have also begun using the FMS on their new recruits to minimize the quantity and the degree of training injuries during “boot camp.” The screen is not in general use, however. Prior to this study, there was no study of FMS in the general population of the U.S.
Dr. Melinda Sothern
The study included 526 men and women ranging in age from 18 to 73 years old. Height and weight were measured before the subjects were given instructions to perform the seven movements – the deep squat, the hurdle step, the in-line lunge, the shoulder mobility movement, the active straight leg raise, the trunk stability push-up and the rotary stability movement.

The authors, who also include A. B. Welch and B. L. Eason at the University of New Orleans, and J. M. Loftin at the University of Mississippi, concluded, “Results demonstrated that the FMS can identify movement deficiencies by age, sex, or subpopulations and can be used in developing physical fitness/ rehab programs to address these specific group movement deficiencies. The FMS, a non-invasive, easily-administered tool, can be a powerful resource in promoting public health in the general population. Examination of normative data can pinpoint general areas of movement deficiencies by occupational, athletic, or recreational subpopulations, age, and/or sex. Public health professionals, in conjunction with movement practitioners, can use this information to design physical activity programs to specifically focus on improving specific group movement deficiencies. Over time, the risk of movement problems in these targeted groups will be reduced and movement patterns will be improved with the implementation of these programs.”