Using Functional Screening to understand YOU!

“You can't put fitness on dysfunction” – Gary Cook

We all want to be able to move, feel and perform at our best, and we don’t want niggling injuries to hold us back, taking us out of doing the things we love, from walking to lifting weights. As human beings we have a tendency to ignore these issues or find the easiest way to avoid pain, causing other compensations on out body. But what if there was a way to help us avoid this set back, a way to have the ultimate success, ease and function in every day life and training.

Well maybe there is? In my opinion, having strong fundamentals are the key to success for any athlete, amateur or elite. What they do is help set a strong foundation to build on. These foundations begin with basic human movement that we use everyday that can become challenged as we progress into more difficult tasks, such as physical activity.

The challenge arises when moving from basic function to the next level, whatever it may be. Its human nature to take the ‘easiest path’ and by doing this we can place extra strain and stress on our bodies, increasing the risk of injury, especially if we don’t have the fundamentals on point.

Why do we train? Fat loss, muscle building, toning, health, performance enhancement. No matter what the reason, our first concern should be injury prevention. WHY? If you are injured then none of these goals matter, because you can’t train.

This is where the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) becomes an important tool in the fitness industry. The Functional movement screen is a concise way to screen individual’s movement before they train. Individuals are assessed on a baseline movement guide. By correcting baseline movements through methodical corrective exercises strategies, injury can be reduced.

So what does this FMS thing do:

  • Screening tool used to identify limitations or asymmetries of seven fundamental movement patterns.
  • The movements combine mobility and stability by placing an individual in extreme positions where weaknesses and imbalances become obvious. The system provides objective, reliable and reproducible outcomes
  • Provides a greater awareness to individual and their trainers on the importance of fundamentals to prevent injury before progressing to the next level.
  • Once dysfunction is reviled and methodical exercise strategy can be applied to correct the problem.

Who is it for?

The FMS is useful for all healthy, active or inactive people who are looking to increase their physical activity.

Take home message:

  1. Find out how, where and why your own body moves or doesn’t move!
  2. Identify potential risk of injury.
  3. Establish an exercise program specific for YOU.
So find out about you, because once you do, maintaining it is so much easier!


Foot Orthotics

In addition to manual therapies, foot orthotics play an important role in a podiatrist’s tool kit for best practice treatment plans and individualised patient care. Every patient has different gait patterns (biomechanics), weight, height, footwear andactivity – therefore results can vary, as do orthotics.

Podiatrist should discuss the full range of benefits that come with orthotics – including fit, comfort and durability. Consumers should also discuss the option of customise versus off the shelf orthotics with their podiatrist, so there is a greater understanding of the individual benefits.

What Are Foot Orthotics?

Also known as orthoses, orthotics are orthopaedic devices designed to support, align or improve the function of the foot or the whole body. There are two types of orthotics – off the shelf or customise. Custom made orthotics are prescribed to treat or correct the patients individual pathologies – much like prescription glasses. Orthotics should not be used in isolation, but as part of an overall treatment plan prescribed by the podiatrist.

What Are The Benefits?

Orthotics can provide pain relief by redistributing the pathological loads away from symptomatic areas. Orthotics also can help to realign the posture to alleviate pain in the feet, ankles hips
and knees.

Who Wears Orthotics?

Orthotics can be used to treat some acute sports injuries of the lower limbs such as;

  • Strains
  • Sprains
  • Tears
  • Acutely inflamed tendons
  • Fractures

They are also used to provide relief from pain caused by chronic conditions such as;

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Orthotics can also relive pain from foot deformities such as;

  • Bunions
  • Claw Toes
  • Neuromas
  • Bursitis

In addition, Orthotics may be used for paediatric conditions such as;

  • Toe Walking
  • In-Toeing (“Pigeon Toes”)
  • Out-Toeing
  • Flat Feet
  • Severs