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Potential limitations of the functional movement screen: a clinical commentary
  1. Alexis A Wright1,
  2. Ben Stern2,
  3. Eric J Hegedus1,
  4. Daniel T Tarara3,
  5. Jeffrey B Taylor1,
  6. Steven L Dischiavi1
  1. 1Department of Physical Therapy, High Point University, One University Parkway, High Point, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Honor Health, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
  3. 3Department of Exercise Science, High Point University, High Point, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alexis A Wright, Department of Physical Therapy, High Point University, One University Parkway, Drawer 67, High Point, NC 27268, USA; awright{at}

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Athletic injury and its sequelae remain a primary concern of sports professionals globally. As a result, screening athletes to predict injury is of great interest, especially if the screening/testing procedure is non-invasive, effective, and efficient. One such procedure of increasing popularity is the functional movement screen (FMS), which, in 2007, was reported to predict injury in American football players in a single season.1

The FMS attempts to identify fundamental movement patterns that simultaneously measure range of motion, stability, and balance1 and shows moderate evidence for acceptable reliability when deriving a composite score.2 The FMS attempts to take a comprehensive approach to assess human movement and encourages clinicians to look beyond impairments and isolated single joint motion and explore more comprehensive movement patterns representative of those used in daily activities and sport. Considering the growing popularity of the FMS both clinically and in research literature, its merits warrant closer analysis.

State of the evidence

A composite score of ≤14 on the FMS is commonly …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.