Do you move functionally? Are you able to perform the activities you want to easily and without producing pain in your body?

Ultimately our brains control our movement, and as it turns out we are pretty clever. When we give the instruction for our body to perform a movement, such as lifting a box or weight up off of the floor and placing it on a shelf, we can usually get it there.  That doesn’t mean it’s going to be pretty.  We are quite amazing at producing some fairly awkward looking movements that get the job done.

The way and ease in which we move is determined by our growth and development, the activities that we perform day in and day out (including activities that don’t require a lot of movement i.e. sitting) and by any structural changes we have inherited, developed or acquired through “wear and tear”, injury or surgery.

Neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction ( think: nerve, muscle, bone/joint dysfunction) is typically the cause of your body’s aches and pains.  There is a growing trend recognizing that the cause of this dysfunction is abnormal movement patterns.

How Do I Know if I Move Functionally?

Functional Movement Systems is a company with a mission to help people move better and then move often.  The system promotes collaboration between performance and rehab professionals.  It utilizes two different tools, the SFMA, or Selective Functional Movement Assessment which is used for assessing patients with pain.

The second tool is the FMS, or Functional Movement Screen, which is used for screening individuals who are not experiencing pain.  Instead the screen is used to identify limitations, weaknesses or asymmetries in seven fundamental movement patterns that are key to functional movement quality.


Basically, there are certain movement patterns that you should be able to perform that can be predictive of whether or not you are going to be able to perform your chosen activity without increased risk of injury.  By screening these patterns, the FMS readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries that causes imbalances, decreased coordination and an increase in injury.  These limitations reduce the effects of training and physical conditioning.

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.

There are 4 main categories of individuals who would benefit from an FMS Screen:

1)  Anyone about to start a new activity or exercise program and wanting to reduce their likelihood of becoming injured

2)  Anyone who would like to know that the exercises they are doing in their workout are targeting the things that are going to make them move and perform better.

3) Anyone coming off of an injury, looking to resume their sport and wondering if they are ready to return.

4) Anyone who has plateaued in their training and is wondering if there is a component of their movement that is holding them back.

You can book a FMS screen online with Dr. Fleming.

For a complete introduction to the process, check out the Functional Movement Systems website.  Here you can use the “Find Certified Members” tab to find a professional near you.