Summer is here and with it sports for kids and the weekend warriors. With sports come injuries… unless you know how to move correctly. Some physical therapy tips can help you before you get injured.
Your PT has that special talent for finding your pain, figuring out what is causing it, and telling you why.
Did you know that your PT also has specialized training to identify patterns of poor movement and help you develop strategies to prevent injury?
Physical Therapists are experts in the musculoskeletal system and analyzing human movement. We assess range of motion, strength, balance, stability and motor control, and use observation skills to evaluate performance of functional and sport-specific tasks.
Another tool that Specialized’s therapists use are functional movement tests, known as the FMS (Functional Movement Screen), and the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment). These screening tests, developed by Gray Cook, are systematic ways of evaluating movement patterns and are used as predictive tools for injury. The FMS is currently being used by elite organizations such as the NCAA, NFL and US Olympic teams.
Research has found that the greatest predictor of a future injury is having sustained a prior injury.
When pain or injury is present, the body develops asymmetries and muscle imbalances, which leads to compensatory strategies. Altered movement patterns, impaired motor control and compensations cause abnormal stress on tissues, which will eventually result in breakdown. This creates a vicious cycle of pain, altered movement, and repeat injury.
Functional movement tests allow us to evaluate movement patterns as a whole as opposed to “in isolation”. This gives us a more comprehensive overview of the entire movement system and allows us to apply more effective interventions. Although these tests are not limited to a specific population, they can be particularly beneficial for the young athlete. As youth sports become more specialized, athletes are more prone to injury from repetitive stress.
Early detection of inefficient movement patterns can be extremely effective for injury prevention and may also lead to improved performance.
If you would like be safer and more competitive in your favorite sport, please learn more about our injury prevention screening services!