Thoughts on the FMS Level 1 | Modern Manual Therapy Blog

Thoughts on the FMS Level 1


Had a blast over the weekend in Brampton, ON for FMS Level 1! Until I started blogging about OMPT, I didn't realize the collaboration the sports medicine world has with physical therapists, athletic trainers, strength coaches, massage therapists, and chiros! It is truly refreshing coming from a world where we try to defend our practice act against those who would limit either direct access or the ability to perform spinal manipulation.

The beauty of the FMS is that it's repeatable due to it's simplicity. It has been shown to have excellent reliability, even inter-rater. You don't have to think too hard, just analyze the movement and score. Among my group of 6, there were two PTs, one massage therapist, and three personal trainers. The scores we chose for each movement were mostly the same, and when in doubt, you score lower. We agreed for the most part to come up with the same score even our first attempt at using the FMS.

The course also makes it a point to "refer out" any time the client has pain, and that's important because the key demo for this course are not necessarily health professionals. Any movement is an assessment, and after the scoring, as a PT, I could do some further assessment, then corrective OMPT and exercise then re-test.
It really great to see an entire group of very diverse professionals and see how each has their unique take on movement and movement analysis. Everyone had something to bring to the table.

My FMS score was 13 initially - ouch! 45% more likely to injure myself according to research! After my scorer, Curd Hos of Hostyle Conditioning - (how can you not love that name - the one with the kettlebell skull t-shirt) told me what I was doing wrong, I was able to take cues from him and the other professionals during the inline lunge. Thomas Swales, PT of Concept of Movement gave me some great cues for the push up to improve the score to 3s on both instead of 2s. My score improved to 18 the next day!

I learned my thoracic mobility was even worse than I thought it was! It gave a new meaning to a joke I use on my patients all the time - you have a bad side, and a worse side. It was very enlightening and I also found out I was incorrectly stabilizing my trunk and not breathing correctly for one of my favorite exercises, the "open book" or sidelying trunk rotation stretch.

The instructor, Marcia had a great energy and came from a physio/kines background. She instructed a great point I will reference from now on. From the bottom to the top

shoulders --> mobility
scapula --> stability
t-spine --> mobility
l-spine --> stability
hips --> mobility
knees --> stability
ankles --> mobility

And even though when I assess, I inherently knew this, and looked for restrictions in those areas, I never knew it "stacked" up so neatly. The mobility joints often lose it, and cause problems for the joints that need stability.

I heard a great instructor once say, "Even if you can take away 1 thing from this course that you'll use every day, it will be worth it." Based on that, the course was worth it many times over!

FMS 2 and the SFMA will hopefully both be coming back within driving distance early next year. I'm excited to take them both and have some more collaboration with other like minded professionals who aren't necessarily PTs.



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