Functional movement screen as a predictor of injury in high school basketball athletes
Sorenson, Eric A., 1980-
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Sorenson, Eric A., 1980-
Participation in athletics includes an inherent risk of becoming injured that is related to the nature of the games and activities of the players. Current literature reports that approximately seven million high school students participate in sports yearly in the United States and, during the 2005-2006 sport seasons, 1.4 million injuries were reported. Considering this high number of injuries, there is little doubt that definitive research into the determination of factors that might help predict the degree of injury risk associated with sport participation is warranted. Despite common association of variables such as joint laxity, range of motion, strength and balance with injury, these traditional measures have not proven to be reliable predictors of vulnerability. Consequently, attempts have been made to identify practical methods that may better permit identification of individuals who show a high likelihood of injury during athletic competition. This study examined one such system, the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), which utilizes measures of mobility and stability to permit its developers to assert that it can be used to practically and accurately identify vulnerable athletes. Critical data on inter-rater and intra-rater performance were first obtained on a team of athletic trainers to ensure that they could reliably execute the testing methods. Following confirmation of this fact, 112 high school basketball athletes were screened with the FMS and their injuries (non-contact neuromusculoskeletal tissue damage in school-sanctioned basketball) were tracked throughout an entire season. Data analysis to determine if a commonly-used FMS cutoff score of less than 14 out of 21 could identify vulnerable athletes revealed that this value was not significantly related to the likelihood of sustaining an injury. Furthermore, logistic regression revealed that none of the individual predictors (gender, FMS movements, and movement asymmetries) were significant predictors of injury susceptibility. The results indicate that, despite the fact that multiple evaluators and trials can be practically used to evaluate FMS scores in a large group of high school basketball athletes, the test does not appear to be a valid tool in assessing injury risk in this population during an entire season.