Functional exercise, prehabilitation, and corrective exercises are growing exponentially and being addressed in everything from Runner’s World, Men’s Health, collegiate strength and conditioning journals, and more. The industry has recognized change is needed in the way we train and address injuries. Injury statistics for new runners are staggering. In 2010, Runner’s World survey results showed 60% of runners reported chronic problems.1 This trend is also apparent in other sports, in weekend warriors, and in everyday life as people become increasingly more sedentary.
Ask yourself: Have you ever experienced an injury? If so, how well did you recover? Did you take the proper time to heal, and then make sure to regain mobility, stability, and proper movement patterns? If you’re like most people the answer is no. According to Gray Cook and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), the number one predictor of an injury is a past injury.2 If you had previously sprained an ankle you will not necessarily sprain that ankle again, however you may incur another injury or issue such as hip pain due to improper movement patterns learned by compensating for the original injury. Are you a ticking time bomb?
Injury prevention and corrective exercise are prescribed for the masses with zero progression or assessment. Without an effective unbiased screen, this is like shooting in the dark and hoping to hit the target. Even worse, performing unnecessary corrective exercises can negatively alter movement patterns that don’t need to be changed. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!
What Is a Screen?
A screen is a test which assesses movement patterns, mobility, and stability. Think of movement patterns as your coordination, whether everything is firing in the correct order,mobility as your range of motion, and stability as your ability to balance or steady yourself. An effective screen will have scoring criteria based on scientific research, such as the Functional Movement Screen.
Prescribing Corrective Exercise and What Is the Goal?
Corrective strategies must be based on a screen with specific standards. If there is no definitive, measurable test, we cannot ensure the reliability of results to most effectively help clients and ourselves. The goal of corrective exercise is to begin at the most appropriate level and steadily advance to regaining normal functions. People should eventually resume training at their previous levels and progress beyond this with a lower risk of injury than before.
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