How the FMS Can Prevent Your Next Injury

Ana Coan

Whether you’re an elite athlete or a desk jockey, the Functional Movement Screen at our Melbourne CBD physio clinic can help prevent your next injury. Developed in 1995 for US college athletes, the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is now used with much success by physiotherapists in Melbourne and across the globe. Highly regarded in the professional sporting world, the FMS is also used by the likes of the NFL and US gymnastics team.


At The Alignment Studio, we use the FMS in conjunction with the Y Balance test to give active patients a thorough biomechanical assessment – identifying any asymmetries and inefficient movement patterns that may contribute to injury. This then allows our physiotherapists to develop a corrective exercise program to address your problem areas before pain and injury occur.

The most popular musculoskeletal screening tool, the FMS assesses seven core movement patterns. Each joint in the body is assessed for mobility and stability during the quick and easy screening. At the end of your assessment, a total score is given out of 21 (each test is scored 0 – 3, where 0 indicates pain, 1 means the movement cannot be completed, 2 means the movement is performed with some compensation, and 3 equals efficient movement). 14 or less indicates increased injury risk.

Y Balance Test

The Y Balance is used in conjunction with the FMS as part of the full musculoskeletal screen at The Alignment Studio. The Y Balance is an easy way to test how the upper and lower extremity function with the core under bodyweight loads. It’s been shown to be highly effective in measuring function pre- and post-injury rehabilitation, dynamic balance for fitness programs, and when an athlete is ready to return to sport.

What A Low Score Means

According to research, those who achieve low scores on either (or both) the FMS and Y Balance are four times more likely to suffer from a sporting injury.

FMS & Y Balance at The Alignment Studio

The Alignment Studio’s Ana Coan and Jane Lau are highly skilled in biomechanical assessment. They use the Functional Movement Screen and Y Balance tests in conjunction on active patients of all ages. Says Ana, “The screening is perfect for anyone who has had repetitive injuries on one side of their body, someone who has had recurrent muscle strains, before/after surgery, pre- and post-season, or for anyone who is thinking about getting back into exercise after a sedentary period.

“The screening itself takes 30 minutes where I put you through all the different tests and take notes and pictures. I will give the person a few mobility exercises to work on and then a week later will have the follow up session. In this I will have a handout with pictures explaining the results of the screen and the plan of action to restore normal movement patterns and minimise injury risk.”

Call us on 9650 2220 for info on the Functional Movement Screen. And check out our post on some of the more unexpected benefits of massage!