For fitness enthusiasts, experiencing some muscle soreness is a sign of a good workout. However, continuous or increasing pain may be an indication of an underlying injury, which might get worse if left untreated.
The cause of your pain could be a result of incorrect technique or form while exercising. Functional movement testings are performed to determine which of your movement patterns may increase your risk of injury or reduced performance. This test is utilized as a baseline examination by Chiropractors, Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers to gather data and determine a personalized course of improvement.
This screening test was created in 1997 by Cook and his colleagues to assist healthcare professionals to screen people for injury risk, as well as performance limiting and dysfunctional movement patterns. It is still used today as a tool to systematically rank and rate movement patterns and identify limitations that may cause pain or injury in the future.
The test consists of seven different exercises to check the movement patterns of an individual that require stability and mobility. The movement patterns are graded on a 3 to 0 scale, in which:
All the seven movement exercises are scored on this scale and the Chiropractor, Physical Therapist or Athletic Trainer will determine the next best action as per the score achieved. The seven exercise movement patterns included in functional movement testing are:
The deep squat exercise tests coordinated thoracic spine, hip, and ankle mobility. It also demonstrates whether or not the patient has core stability with the shoulders and hips performing in symmetrical positions.
This second movement pattern helps in challenging the stride and stepping mechanics of the body. Moreover, it tests the control and stability in a single leg stance. This is an effective means of determining the symmetry on both sides while also assessing the balance and mobility of the hip.
The in-line lunge is a quick assessment of the right and left function in a simple pattern and aims to position the body to focus on the stresses stimulated throughout the lateral, deceleration and rotation movements.
This screen test identifies the natural flow and rhythm of the rib cage, thoracic spine, and scapular-thoracic region with the reciprocal upper extremities of the shoulder movements.
For this exercise, the patient will lay on their back to check the mobility of their flexed hip while the opposite hip stays flat and extended on the ground. It is also used to identify initial core stability. The goal of this exercise is to determine the capability of disassociating the lower extremities as the patient tries to maintain stability in the core and pelvic region.
The trunk stability test observes the stabilization of the reflex core but is not utilized as a measurement of strength. The test is to begin the movement with the upper body extremity without moving your pelvis or hips.
The last screen test is a complex movement that involves proper coordination and energy transfer on either side of the body through the torso. It helps in observing weight shifts, reflex stabilization, as well as coordination of stability and mobility in a climbing pattern.
By performing these exercises, your healthcare expert will be able to identify any weak links in your body that might be causing pain. As you and your team of medical professionals continue to work on those limited movements, you will reduce your risk of injury and enhance your performance.
Functional movement testing offers numerous benefits to the individuals—especially fitness professionals.—Here are some of the benefits that functional movement testing offers:
Functional movement testing provides valuable information to healthcare professionals as it determines the ideal corrective exercises an individual needs to improve their mobility and stability. A low score will indicate a sign of risk and allow your Physical Therapist, Chiropractor or Athletic Trainer to create a treatment plan accordingly.
Our Athletic Trainers at NJ Spine and Wellness offer a one-on-one session with each patient at the beginning of their treatment to gain statistics on strength and body movements. Whether you are looking for treatment and diagnosis of orthopedic concerns, spine issues, sports injuries, or want nutritional counseling, book your appointment today! We aim to help you get better faster and improve your fitness and performance.