An investigation into normative values for the Functional Movement Screen?(FMS?) and its association to injury in female premier league hockey players in KwaZulu-Natal
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Background The Functional Movement Screen (FMSTM) is a pre-participation screen consisting of seven tests that rate a player’s functional movement. The screen may be used as an indicator for injury susceptibility in sports people. This may be implemented for preventative measures and improving or sustaining performance in sport. Objectives This research aimed to identify normative values on the FMSTM for female premier league hockey players and assess the association between FMSTM scores and incidence of seasonal injuries. Secondary to this, the research also undertook to assess dependence of the FMSTM on other risk factors identified in the study such as age, number of years playing hockey, height, weight, BMI and position. These risk measures were also tested for association to injury susceptibility. Method The research evaluated the FMSTM score in female premier league hockey players in KwaZulu-Natal prior to the commencement of the competitive season and then tracked the incidence, frequency and distribution of injuries that were sustained during the season. All nine teams in the KwaZulu-Natal female premier hockey league were approached and the players voluntarily participated provided that they fitted the inclusion criteria. In total 74 players between the ages of 18 and 35 were assessed. SPSS version 20 was used in the data analysis to test for statistical significance of the results. Results and conclusions The research sample revealed a mean FMSTM score of 14.39 with a standard deviation of 2.4. The difference in average FMSTM score between the 18 players who sustained non-contact injuries during the course of the season and the 56 players who did not was shown to not be statistically significant at a 95% confidence level. Therefore, this research shows that no association can be made between a low score on the Functional Movement ScreenTM and injury susceptibility. The FMSTM score was shown to be an independent metric when compared to the other injury risk measures identified in the study and the other risk measures were also found to not reliably indicate injury susceptibility. Having said this, the association of weight, FMSTM and BMI with injury susceptibility warrants further investigation as these measures indicated a degree of association.