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Benefits of Getting a Functional Movement Screen™ in 2014

by Lori Diamos8 Comments

As a new year begins, have you begun to revise your personal goals or New Year’s resolutions for 2014? A top choice for many people usually includes something to do with exercise, health, fitness, or sports. As a physical therapist, I am fully on board when individuals, friends, families, players, coworkers, or teams want to get up and get moving. However, before you start that ramped up exercise program, fitness routine, physically demanding occupation, or competitive sport, make sure your movement is up to par for your activity. I’m sure “going to physical therapy” is not on your short list of 2014 goals.  An excellent way to accomplish this is to get yourself, your workplace, or your team a Functional Movement Screen™.

The Functional Movement Screen™ or FMS™ for short was developed  by Gray Cook, Lee Burton, and colleagues as they combined innovation with science and evidenced-based research to create a standardized ranking and grading system that effectively and efficiently documents movement patterns critical to normal function. The FMS™ looks at 7 movement patterns (Deep Squat, Hurdle Step, In Line Lunge, Shoulder Mobility, Active Straight Leg Raise, Trunk Stability Push Up, and Rotary Stability) and grades them either a:

  • 3: performs correctly
  • 2: performs with compensation
  • 1: cannot perform
  • 0: pain present

An overall score of 21 is possible with the goal being 15 or above as research has demonstrated risk of injury is more prevalent at 13 or below.

IMG_4685Health and exercise professionals need to undergo certification to officially administer the FMS™. The screening process makes apparent any asymmetries or limitations which exist from left to right that could increase risk of injury with activity. The location of each client’s limitations or asymmetries allows the tester to customize specific corrective exercises based on individualized need to address the most significant deficits found. The screen fosters communication between physicians, licensed medical professionals, exercise professionals, and individuals as it establishes a baseline for functional movement and enables everyone to speak the same language about the movement seen. It is simple for all involved to understand, address, monitor, and progress.

Athletico employs physical therapists, occupational/hand therapists, athletic trainers, massage therapists, personal trainers, performance enhancement specialists, and strength and conditioning experts, many of which are certified in administering the Functional Movement Screen™. Athletico facilities that perform the FMS™ are Oak Brook, St. Charles, Garfield Ridge, Gold Coast and Bolingbrook. These locations also offer fitness services to begin working on your fitness goals once the FMS™ has been performed.

Our healthcare landscape is ever changing, but one constant is that most people want good health.  Understanding and utilizing the FMS™ not only keeps you informed but puts you in a better position to take an active role in improving or maintaining your own health. It is used worldwide, including the NFL, NHL, the United States Marine Corps, and firefighters here in the United States.

The Functional Movement Screen™ is a wonderful injury prevention tool for active people of any age.  The screen itself takes 10 minutes or less to perform on one person yet the movement patterns elicit immediate information about motion, stability, balance, and proprioception that can be used to create customized treatment plans that help to lower your injury risk. Let’s face it, injuries are not only painful but inconvenient and costly. They can mean time off from work or being sidelined from sports or fitness activities. As someone certified in the Functional Movement Screen™ I would be happy to answer any questions you have below. Make safety, good health, and increased activity a priority for 2014 by scheduling your Functional Movement Screen™ today.

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Lori Diamos was a physical therapist at Athletico Physical Therapy at the time of this blog.


  1. Amy Kleinman

    How much does the FMS cost? Are you obligated to go into treatment or can that be done later?

  2. Lori Diamos

    Hi Cynthia! The FMS(Functional Movement Screen) does not require a doctor’s referral. Physical or Occupational therapy requires a referral per our current state practice acts because these clients are in an active pain episode where they are under a doctor’s care and utilizing insurance. The Functional Movement Screen is not done under our therapy umbrella but rather through our Fitness/Wellness/Injury Prevention division. These services are not billed through insurance and are billed on a fee for service basis so all active individuals of any age looking to stay healthy and minimize potential injury risk can schedule one.

  3. Lori Diamos

    Hello Amy! At this time we are doing a complimentary offering of the Functional Movement Screen so you can schedule your FMS for free while it lasts. You are not obligated to do any further treatment so hopefully you or someone you know can benefit from this great opportunity. The locations where the FMS is provided are highlighted above so click on the one most convenient to you and you will be directed to a page that includes information about address, phone number, and hours of operation so you can get your screen scheduled today. Hope that helps!

  4. Tim Savage

    The Functional Movement Screen is a phenomenal tool. Many people think that it’s just for athletes, but really anyone would benefit from it. It helps correct limitations in even the most basic movement patterns (walking, running, etc.)

    Here’s a fairly comprehensive introduction: functional-movement-screen

    I’m sure Athletico would do a great job administering this.

  5. Lori Diamos

    Tim, I couldn’t agree more! Any person who is active can benefit from the Functional Movement screen and in the ever changing healthcare environment we live in it has the potential to be a great preventative tool allowing people to correct asymmetries before they become medical problems.

    Thanks for the article link. It was an excellent in depth description of the FMS and I look forward to reading the whole series.

  6. Lori Diamos

    Hi Loretta! The simple answer is yes as the FMS can bring benefit to anyone who moves but may be moving dysfunctionally through certain patterns. It is very individualized to each person and shows where they do or do not move well regardless of diagnosis. Once a baseline is established corrective strategies can be taught at which point we would customize for your diagnosis or any restrictions/precautions that might be present. Hope that helps!

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