Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 21

PHYSICAL READINESS TRAINING MILITARY REVIEW  September-October 2014 The executive summary cited “an apparent disproportionate musculoskeletal injury risk from these demanding programs, particularly for novice participants, resulting in lost duty time, medical treatment and extensive rehabilitation.” U.S. Army Maj. Roger Miranda with the 1st Cavalry Division lifts a barbell while doing thrusters during the CrossFit Open competition at Fort Hood, Texas, 5 April 2013. The exercise, repeated several times, works muscles in the upper and lower body. The FMS could be part of the solution to mitigating these injury concerns. All soldiers should be tested biannually (as with the APFT) to identify new or chronic dysfunctional movement patterns. Soldiers who test high for potential injury should be limited in the functional movements and intensities of functional movements they perform until corrective exercise results in an improved FMS score. 19 Photo by Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. PAO effective tools for evaluating movement. A significant predictive factor for musculoskeletal injuries, as demonstrated by Mr. Cook, is poor movement patterns. For individuals with no current pain or musculoskeletal injury, fitness professionals can administer the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), described as— a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns that are key to normal function. By screening these patterns, the FMS readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries. These are issues that can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning and distort body awareness. 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.14 For individuals with pain or injury, a healthcare provider can administer a tool known as the Selective Functional Movement Assessment. Scientific literature supporting the efficacy, accuracy, and reliability of these tools is large and continues to grow.15 They are used by organizations such as the National Football League, USA Track & Field (the national governing body for track and field, long-distance running, and race walking in the United States), and over 20 professional sports teams and U.S. government and military organizations.16 The FMS is inexpensive and easy to administer. It requires little more in terms of resources (time and personnel) than a standard unit-level APFT. Most important, it will provide commanders with quantifiable injury potential data that should result in better soldier care and outcomes. The U.S. Army lacks a method for predicting the likelihood of injury even though the increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries is the leading argument against high-intensity workouts. In 2011, the Uniformed Services University Consortium for Health and Military Performance in collaboration with the American College of Sports Medicine released an executive summary detailing positive and negative characteristics of “extreme conditioning programs,” finishing with qualified recommendations for their continued use by military populations.17