Athletic development specialists dedicated to the art and science of excellence in movement

New Research Applying the Functional Movement Screen in a Military Population

Check out this recent data on the Functional Movement Screen at Marine Corps Officer Candidate School.  ("Functional Movement Screening: A Novel Tool for Injury Risk Stratification of Warfighters").  We have written about movement screening in a military population and are encouraged to see the armed services adopt a prehabilitative approach to injury prevention with a focus on functional movement ability. Recruits and candidates get plenty of education about fitness routines, stretching, and icing, but far less about prehabilitative training methods.  

Candidates who scored equal to or less than 14 (out of 21) were more than twice as likely to be dismissed for injury compared to candidates scoring 15 or greater.  The results are consistent with earlier FMS studies professional athletes and a study conducted on US Air Force Pararescue Indoc candidates (http://www.armymedicine.army.mil/prr/PT_BCT_Guide.pdf, see p.40 “Our results confirm that those < 14 were less likely to succeed with initial training secondary to musculoskeletal injury.").

Future study should track attrition rates of candidates with left/right asymmetries on the FMS and candidates at or above 15 with at least one score of "1".  For those unfamiliar with the FMS, each screen in the seven part FMS is scored from 0 to 3.

3 = Authentic movement

2 = Satisfactory, but not authentic.

1 = Dysfunctional

0 = Painful

Someone with a high FMS score (greater than 15) and at least one score of "1" has an elevated risk of injury. Likewise, a difference in score between the right and left sides also elevates injury risk (for purposes of overall score, we take the lower of the two sides).  The FMS creators actually prefer symmetrical 2’s than a right/left imbalance of two/left vs. three/right.  We’re looking forward to additional study from military medical teams on corrective protocols for FMS results 


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