The Functional Movement Screen for Predicting Running Injuries

I like studies like this. Straight forward research question; methods designed to answer the question; and sound methods and analysis. This make a change from the depressing nature of the failed peer review process of some recent reviews I did (and a few more coming up).

I already reviewed a PhD thesis on the Functional Movement Screen and running injuries in which I background what it is, so reading that will provide some context.

Functional Movement Screen for Predicting Running Injuries in 18- to 24-Year-Old Competitive Male Runners
Hotta, Takayuki; Nishiguchi, Shu1,; Fukutani, Naoto; Tashiro, Yuto; Adachi, Daiki; Morino, Saori; Shirooka, Hidehiko; Nozaki, Yuma; Hirata, Hinako; Yamaguchi, Moe; Aoyama, Tomoki
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2015 – Volume 29 – Issue 10 – p 2808–2815
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the functional movement screen (FMS) could predict running injuries in competitive runners. Eighty-four competitive male runners (average age = 20.0 ± 1.1 years) participated. Each subject performed the FMS, which consisted of 7 movement tests (each score range: 0–3, total score range: 0–21), during the preseason. The incidence of running injuries (time lost because of injury ≤ 4 weeks) was investigated through a follow-up survey during the 6-month season. Mann-Whitney U-tests were used to investigate which movement tests were significantly associated with running injuries. The receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to determine the cutoff. The mean FMS composite score was 14.1 ± 2.3. The ROC analysis determined the cutoff at 14/15 (sensitivity = 0.73, specificity = 0.54), suggesting that the composite score had a low predictability for running injuries. However, the total scores (0–6) from the deep squat (DS) and active straight leg raise (ASLR) tests (DS and ASLR), which were significant with the U-test, had relatively high predictability at the cutoff of 3/4 (sensitivity = 0.73, specificity = 0.74). Furthermore, the multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the DS and ASLR scores of ≤3 significantly influenced the incidence of running injuries after adjusting for subjects’ characteristics (odds ratio = 9.7, 95% confidence interval = 2.1–44.4). Thus, the current study identified the DS and ASLR score as a more effective method than the composite score to screen the risk of running injuries in competitive male runners.

Pretty much what they found was that the deep squat and active straight leg raise were associated with running injury, but the total Functional Movement Screen was not really associated with running injury. The previous study I reviewed showed a negative relationship between the FMS score and running injury. The earlier study had a different population of runners (collegiate (Division I) sprinters and cross-country runners). The results also point to the importance of ‘Strength Training for Runners to Prevent Injury‘.

As always: I go where the evidence takes me until convinced otherwise…and good research puts me in a good mood…time to go to the gym and lift some weights.

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