Moving Well: Understanding Sports Injury Risk Assessment

Our bodies are powerful and built to move. Forward. Backward. Side to side.

In fact, even if you hurt yourself, in most cases, you can still move. Our bodies are strong and adaptative.  In situations where pain or injury may prevent us from moving, our bodies will create compensation patterns, allowing us to continue to perform basic and even complex movements.  Many times these compensations are subconsciously created and we don’t even know they have occurred.  That is, until you start doing movements over and over again, like an athlete often does on the field or on a court.

That is where the opportunity for serious injury comes in.

The good news? Even if you can’t feel your body compensating for an injury you don’t know exists right now, there’s a way to test your body to see where your deficiencies lie.

Enter the Sports Injury Risk Assessment (SIRA). An SIRA is designed to identify abnormal movement patterns that could lead to an injury or limit performance. These patterns may be the result of a prior injury, or simply just bad habits that over time have engrained themselves into your movement.  Regardless of the cause, identifying and developing strategies to eliminate improper movement is essential to reducing your risk of future injury.

The SIRA combines a musculoskeletal assessment, sports specific joint testing, and the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) to create a movement and risk assessment profile.

When screened with the SIRA, athletes perform basic movement patterns as well as those specific to a sport. Athletes then receive a detailed report on which movement patterns have deficiencies or compensations along with recommendations on how to improve movement patterns and reduce future injury risk.

In fact, the FMS screen is so powerful that even the NFL uses with its players, where injuries mean more than loss of time on field, but loss of jobs and money.

The Seattle Seahawks, for example, implemented the FMS as “an integral part of their offseason training,” according to functionalmovement.com. “The Seahawks training staff put their players through the FMS, then work with the Strength and Conditioning staff to design appropriate workout programs based on the results of the screen.”

The SIRA is not just for professional athletes, though.  All ages and levels can benefit from a Sports Injury Risk Assessment because it is never too early or too late to learn to move more safely and effectively.

Interested in a Sports Injury Risk Assessment? Contact one of our specialty clinics or Performance Centers to schedule.

By Jessica Myers, PT, DPT, MPH, CSCS, FMSC and Clinical Director – Powhatan

Katie Benick, MS, CSCS, Director of Performance Services, Tidewater Performance