Mountain River Physical Therapy Acknowledges Benefits of Functional Movement Screens for NFL Athletes and Patients

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In June 2011 representatives from the Atlanta Falcons visited Mountain River Physical Therapy’s Chatham, Virginia, clinic to learn more about Functional Movement Screens.

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Functional Movement Screens are not just for top-athletes. Patients of all ages and skill levels will benefit by gaining strength and balance enhancing their return to work, play, or daily activity.

Incorporating the screen into training programs provides great insights into weaknesses that can easily turn into injuries if not addressed.

In June 2011 the Atlanta Falcons’ Director of Athletic Performance, Jeff Fish, and Head Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist, Marty Lauzon, visited Mountain River Physical Therapy’s Chatham, Virginia, clinic to learn the more about Functional Movement Screens (FMS).

The Falcons and other National Football League (NFL) teams have been using Functional Movement Screens developed by Gray Cook, MSPT, OCS, CSCS, RKC, physical therapist at Mountain River Physical Therapy (MRPT) in Chatham, Virginia, and Lee Burton, Averett University’s Director of Athletic Training.

A FMS is a test to determine “how well you move” and is used to find weaknesses before they affect sports performance or turn into injuries. The screen identifies limitations that can hinder proper function and decrease strength. Research in the February 2010 Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that Functional Movement Screens can be “confidently used to assess the movement patterns of athletes and to make decisions related to interventions for performance enhancement…and assist in identifying athletes at risk for injury.”

“The overall development of the player has been improved tremendously. We've seen a huge reduction in injuries through the years with it [Functional Movement Screens],” comments Fish. “All of that combined within the system of being able to assess players and individualize workouts has been a tremendous asset.”

According to Fish, the Falcons are one of the teams with the lowest numbers of player-missed practices and games. Many times, athletes have a hidden weakness, such as one side of the body overcompensating for the other. Functional Movement Screens and corrective physical therapy exercises help reset the body to correct these hidden weaknesses. This makes workouts more efficient and effective.

Danville, Virginia’s local newspaper reports that Cook and Burton developed the Functional Movement Screen to combat injuries among high school football players. Reebok heard about the Functional Movement Screen and was so impressed by the benefits that they sponsored some of Cook’s lectures. Next, the Indianapolis Colts started to use the Functional Movement Screens and now the screen is very well known among professional and college athletes.

“From there, it became popular among personal trainers,” Cook comments. “Lately, the screening has been useful in reducing injury and costs for occupations like firefighters and Navy Seals. Incorporating the screen into training programs provides great insights into weaknesses that can easily turn into injuries if not addressed.”

Cook consults with professional and university coaches and athletes, and teaches various aspects of physical therapy, sports medicine and performance enhancement. He believes in understanding human movement patterns, so incorporates the Functional Movement Screen throughout all of his work.

MRPT physical therapists provide functional movement screens for their patients so that they can improve fundamental movement patterns, eliminate asymmetries, and set a solid foundation upon which they can improve their performance.

Functional Movement Screens are not just for top-athletes. Patients of all ages and skill levels will benefit by gaining strength and balance, enhancing their return to work, play, or daily activity. Using the Functional Movement Screen, MRPT helps patients identify where they need help, and also educates them on how to make these areas better.

For more information about how physical therapy and Functional Movement Screens at MRPT, visit MountainRiverPT.com or call 304-865-6778.

About Mountain River Physical Therapy:

Mountain River Physical Therapy (MRPT) is a private physical therapy practice with locations throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Known for utilizing the newest research to deliver the best results as quickly as possible, MRPT physical therapists pride themselves in being spine and sport experts. Their board certified therapists deliver hands-on physical therapy to achieve the best results for patients with bad backs, achy joints, wounded hands, and work injuries. Along the way, the MRPT family has fun and makes friends with their patients (and their pets, their kids, their in-laws, and neighbors….). For more information visit MountainRiverPT.com or find MRPT on Facebook.

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