A friend and colleague working as a Physical Therapist in an orthopedic facility was recently showed a poster presentation that suggested that the FMS was not a valid predictor of injury based on the managed 14 cut point.
Below are some points I would consider in engaging such an individual.
1. It is very true that this and other research projects have found the FMS to not demonstrate the predictive value that it has with the NFL and tactical populations.
Remember that’s just what research says. I think EBP is a combination of what the statistics say, what your skill set set provides, and what makes common sense.
2. Previous research on the FMS as an injury predictor has used a far more concrete definition for a positive reaction. In most studies, they measure a missed game, practice, work day, activation of an worker’s compensation first incident. This takes out the subjective levels of tolerance. Without a doubt, the endurance athlete population is considered both as under-reporters and with a high tolerance of symptoms. Qualification of an “overuse injury” is also very suspect in my opinion.
3. Some of these questions are next to impossible to answer in as much as this literature was presented in the form of a poster. Publication standards and backdrop to the scientific method are of much less breadth in a poster versus a peer-reviewed journal publication.
4. It is worthy of mention that the full depth of FMS literature would say a cut point of 14 with asymmetries would still incur a +30% incident of injury. Did they account for that, or did they just look at the total score. If you have 3 3s, 3 1s, and a 2, would you think, just using common sense, that they were well prepared for action?
5. Long before the FMS should be considered an injury predicting metric, it should be considered a screen. That statement does not discredit this piece of literature even though it does have some holes. My point is that the FMS as a screen is based upon what the literature already has established as the #1 and #2 predictors of injury. The #1 predictor is previous injury. So if an individual presents with pain, we know there is previous injury. The clinician should act. The #2 predictor is asymmetry. Even the Deep Squat and Trunk Stability Push-up have opportunities to discern asymmetries. Again, if found, the clinician should act. This action should be elimination, remediation, or reconstruction of “Plan A.” This is how injury will be predicted. This primary foci, as I see it, of the FMS is about major problems (pain) and asymmetries. You find those, you are by default playing the literature’s already established odds on predicting injuries.
6. Sometimes, or actually more time than not, I would like to profile some of the folks that try to shoot down the FMS. Have they read Athletic Body in Balance or Movement? Have they heard any of Gray’s interviews?
Have they taken an official FMS/SFMA course from a legit speaker? Who do they train?
Do they have a fantastic training program anyway that corrects the FMS by default?
Does their method subscription have some level of competition with the FMS on a commercial level?
Do they still do isolation training and impairment-based rehab @ which point the FMS can be offensive to them and expose their retardation?
Or when it comes down to it, are they just a dickhead?