Winter is well and truly underway and while this might be the off-season for many GAA and Soccer teams, it can be a busy time of year for the Medical and Strength and Conditioning teams. This is largely due to the preparation and time involved for pre-season screening. So what exactly involves a team being “screened”? Screening is a strong indicator of any muscle imbalances and movement dysfunction that an individual may have that can predispose them to injuries.
An excellent journal published by McCall et al. 2015 surveyed the current perceptions and practices of 44 premier league soccer teams, elite male players >18, from around the world regarding non-contact injuries. The three most important perceived risk factors were previous injury, fatigue and muscle imbalance. Additionally, the three most utilised screening tests to detect injury risk were functional movement screen (FMS), questionnaires and isokinetic muscle testing.
Isokinetic testing is the gold standard for muscle strength testing. This is a computerized measurement of muscle function and output and is the treatment of choice of top athletes and sports teams internationally.
Put simply, the functional movement screen (FMS) is a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns that are key to normal function. By screening these patterns, the FMS readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries. These are issues that can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning and distort body awareness. The FMS generates the Functional Movement Screen Score, which is used to target problems and track progress. This scoring system is directly linked to the most beneficial corrective exercises to restore mechanically sound movement patterns.
Here at The SISM Clinic we have extensive experience in assessing and screening inter-county and club GAA teams during the preseason. Like the aforementioned study on soccer teams, we use the functional movement screen (FMS) and we have an onsite Isokinetic machine, one of only a few in private clinics throughout Ireland. The SISM Clinic has led the field in the use of isokinetic strength testing for the last 10 years. We have specialised in the testing of limb (arm and leg) muscle dysfunction and strength loss.
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