I use the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) on a daily basis in my Chiropractic practice to watch how clients move through the most basic and fundamental movements. The FMS helps me to determine the risk of injury a person has, and limitations of movements, and right and left side imbalances during movement. I like to use the FMS to establish a base-line score in my non-acute patients.
I have found it beneficial to test low load maneuvers and exercises (before using loads) first. This has provided me with an overall exercise prescription that 1) Establishes mobility first (Gray Cook & Lee Burton strongly teach this point). This involves mobilization, manipulation, teaching clients how to perform self myofascial release using the foam roll, Deep Muscle Stimulator (DMS), stretch and lengthen, etc 2) Perform movements that recruit slow motor units. I make sure the stabilisers are working. The smallest muscles in the body need to contribute to holding spinal joints still while the arms and legs produce motion. It is better to use low load, or minimal load to primarily recruit slow motor units. Teaching patients the “primative” movement patterns are very useful here. All of this helps the spine to isometrically hold a position to sustain postural alignment or support functional trunk or limb load. I use exercises that transition slow motor units to optimize rapid/accelerated movement and the production of high force or power. 3) I teach exercises that eccentrically control the return through range (limb lowering against gravity). 4) Control whatever functional range is available. Here the global stabilisers should demonstrate efficient control of both normal and hypermobile ranges of motion. Gray & Lee call this RNT (Reactive Neuromuscular Training). 5) Then I reevaluate the dysfunctional movement pattern found on the Functional Movement Screen to see if this made a positive change. If the movement pattern improves, my patient and I know we are on the right track, if the movement pattern did not improve, I need to rethink the corrective exercise prescription. All of this takes one on one time..worth it!