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Scudamore, Eric Michael
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Middle Tennessee State University
Impairments in balance and functional movement lead to greater risk of musculoskeletal injury (MSKI). The Functional Movement ScreenTM (FMS) has been used to predict MSKI, but little is known regarding the extent to which the FMS can accurately predict deficiencies in balance in non-military and military populations.
In Study 1, 34 physically-active adults performed the FMS and composite reach distance (CR) and overall stability indices (OSI) were measured using the Y Balance and Biodex balance tests, respectively. Results indicated that (a) higher overall FMS scores were associated with better CR and OSI; (b) participants with FMS composite scores > 15 exhibited better CR compared to those with composite scores < 14; and (c) scores of 2 on the deep squat and 3 on the trunk stability push-up predicted better CR. Higher shoulder mobility scores (2, 3) and a rotary stability score of 3 also predicted better OSI.
In Study 2, 30 adults with fitness profiles typical of military recruits were tested to identify predictors of loaded CR (LCR) and loaded OSI (LOSI) from unloaded (FMS) and torso-loaded FMS (24.2 kg) (mFMS) item scores. Data analyses revealed that FMS composite scores exhibited the strongest relationship with LCR and participants with higher FMS composite scores (> 15) displayed higher LCR values compared to those with lower composite scores (< 14). With respect to FMS subscores, an in-line lunge score of 1 predicted a shorter LCR and a shoulder mobility score of 3 predicted better LOSI. Loaded shoulder mobility and trunk stability push-up scores of 3 predicted better and worse LOSI, respectively.
In summary, results from this dissertation project provide support for using the traditional and loaded FMS to assess unloaded and loaded dynamic balance in active adults and military recruits. From a practical standpoint, attainment of suboptimal scores on the FMS may be a possible indication to conduct further testing to determine if balance-specific interventions are needed. Future research in this area should also explore the use of a wider range of scores when employing the FMS to improve the sensitivity of this assessment, especially when incorporating external loads to screen for movement deficiencies.
Balance, Functional Movement, Musculoskeletal injury, Torso-Load