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Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

Safely return to employment, athletic activities and normal daily activities following injury or surgery. Target weaknesses to reduce the risk of re-injury.

Dr. Nathan Zachor demonstrating Functional Movement Screen (FMS) to a student athlete.We have added a new injury risk assessment, called Functional Movement Screen (FMS), to the services we now offer patients.In addition to strength training and athletic training, patients may be referred for functional evaluation to determine their ability to safely return to employment, and daily and athletic activities following an injury or surgery.

What is FMS?

First introduced in 1998, FMS was used to screen high school athletes for movement quality versus movement quantity. FMS is a grading system that documents movement patterns key to normal motor development, performance of daily tasks, and the foundation underlying athletic performance and skill. The scoring is used to target weaknesses and asymmetries to reduce the overall risk of injury.

FMS attempts to identify problems with mobility, stability and asymmetry during seven fundamental movement patterns:

  1. Deep overhead squat
  2. Hurdle step
  3. In-line lunge
  4. Active straight-leg raise
  5. Shoulder mobility
  6. Trunk mobility
  7. Rotary mobility

How does FMS work?

We use the FMS score to track progress and to identify which corrective exercises are most effective in restoring proper mobility, stability, and symmetry. If any of the 7 movements or 3 clearing tests are painful, we will refer you for further medical evaluation before you can resume normal exercise activity.

If an FMS score is < 14/21, the probability of an individual suffering a time loss injury increases from 15% to just over 50%. Additional research of the FMS found that a two to three-fold increase in injuries occurred with individuals who had right or left-sided asymmetries.

What are the benefits of FMS?

  1. Identifies individuals at risk of injury, who are attempting to resume or increase activity levels, for example, after marathon injuries. FMS is best used as a pre-participation or a pre-placement physical examination.
  2. Assists in the program design of rehabilitation, personal training and workplace injury prevention programs.
  3. Provides a systematic tool to monitor progress and movement pattern development in the presence of changing fitness levels and corrective exercise interventions.
  4. Creates a functional movement baseline, which allows rating and ranking of movement for statistical purposes.


For a referral or to learn how FMS can benefit your patient, call 920-738-0200 (Dr. Nathan Zachor, Appleton clinic).

*NOTE:  This information is not intended as a substitute for medical professional help or advice, but is to be used only as an aid in understanding chiropractic treatment. A physician should always be consulted for any health problems.

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