What’s the Role of Functional Movement Screens in Predicting Injury Risk in Ballet?


Dance, particularly ballet, is a physically demanding form of art. Its beauty and elegance are backed by countless hours of strenuous exercise, training, and rehearsal. As with any physical activity, dance exposes the dancers to a risk of injury. Hence, it is crucial to understand the factors that lead to injuries and determine methods to prevent them. One such tool for injury prediction and prevention is the Functional Movement Screen (FMS).

The FMS is a tool designed to evaluate movement patterns and functional movement strength in athletes, identifying those with increased risk of injury. The tool was initially developed for the sports world but has since been applied to the dance community as well, given the physicality of the art form. In this article, we will explore the role of FMS in predicting injury risk in ballet, based on multiple scholarly studies available on PubMed, Google Scholar, and other med-related databases.

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What is a Functional Movement Screen?

FMS is a popular screening tool that involves a series of seven movement tests designed to assess the fundamental movement patterns in athletes. The tool aims to identify those with potential movement deficiencies, poor movement quality, or asymmetries that can often lead to an injury. Each of the seven tests is scored from zero to three, with a total possible score of 21. A lower score suggests a higher risk of potential injury.

FMS has been widely adopted in many sports as a preliminary screening tool for athletes. This method’s application in the world of dance, especially ballet, is a relatively new occurrence, but it is gaining popularity. Ballet involves complex, precise, and often repetitive movements, making the dancers prone to various types of injuries. Hence, a screening tool like FMS can be extremely beneficial in this context.

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FMS and Dance: A Study

A study conducted by researchers and published in PubMed revealed significant findings about the application of FMS in the ballet world. The study involved a group of professional dancers who were screened using FMS. Following the screen, the dancers’ injury records were reviewed and correlated with their FMS scores.

The study revealed that lower FMS scores were associated with a higher incidence of reported injuries in the dancers. This suggests that FMS can be an effective tool in predicting injury risk in dancers, similar to its function in sports. The study also indicated the importance of implementing remedial measures to improve movement scores and reduce injury risk.

FMS and Its Application in Dance Schools

The use of FMS is not just confined to professional dancers. It has also been implemented in dance schools to monitor young dancers’ movement patterns and prevent potential injuries. Regular FMS screens can be particularly helpful in identifying movement deficiencies early on, allowing for corrective measures to be implemented promptly.

In addition, FMS provides valuable data to dance coaches and physical therapists. This data can be used to develop personalized training programs, focusing on improving areas of weakness and enhancing overall strength and flexibility. Thus, FMS can play a crucial role in creating a safer and healthier environment for dancers to learn and perform.

The Intersection of FMS and Injury Prevention Protocols

The use of FMS as an injury prediction tool opens up new opportunities for developing effective injury prevention protocols. By identifying potential risks early, preventive measures can be taken to minimize the chances of injury.

These preventive measures can include strength training, flexibility exercises, and targeted physical therapy. Furthermore, dancers can be educated about their movement deficiencies and be made aware of the injury risks associated with them. This knowledge can empower dancers to take proactive steps in reducing their individual injury risk.

In summary, the Functional Movement Screen can serve as a powerful tool for predicting injury risk in ballet. However, the value of FMS lies not just in its predictive power but also in its potential to direct preventive measures, consequently creating a safer environment for dancers. The application of FMS in dance schools and professional ballet companies can significantly reduce injury rates, promoting better health and longevity in the careers of dancers.

The Correlation Between FMS Scores and Injury Risk in Ballet

The application of Functional Movement Screen (FMS) in ballet has undergone multiple studies to validate its efficacy in predicting the risk of injury among dancers. In one such study published on PubMed, the FMS scores of professional dancers were correlated with their injury records. The results showed that there was a significant association between lower FMS scores and a higher incidence of injuries.

This research suggests a direct link between movement competency and injury risk in ballet dancers. Thus, the FMS proves to be an effective tool in identifying dancers with a higher risk of injury due to their movement deficiencies. This exercise involves assessing each dancer’s performance on seven fundamental movements and assigning a score based on their performance. The lower the score, the higher the injury risk.

By regularly using the FMS as a predictive tool, dance companies can monitor their dancers’ movement patterns and identify any potential issues before they lead to injury. Consequently, corrective measures can be implemented promptly, reducing the risk of injury. This can include targeted physical therapy, strength training, or specific exercises to improve flexibility and strength in areas of weakness.

Moreover, these findings have not only been beneficial for professional dancers but also for dance schools. The insights provided by FMS scores help dance teachers and physical therapists develop personalized training programs. These programs can focus on improving particular areas of weakness and enhancing overall movement quality, thereby contributing to the prevention of injuries and promoting dancers’ longevity in their careers.

Conclusion: The Role of FMS in Creating a Safer Environment for Ballet Dancers

The Functional Movement Screen (FMS), initially developed for the sports world, has found a crucial role in the dance community, particularly in ballet. From predicting the risk of injuries in professional dancers to shaping personalized training programs in dance schools, the FMS has proven to be a valuable tool.

Research conducted on PubMed, Google Scholar, and other med-related databases have substantiated the correlation between lower FMS scores and a higher incidence of injuries. This evidence suggests that the FMS can play a pivotal role in identifying potential issues in a dancer’s movement patterns, enabling timely interventions to prevent injuries.

Furthermore, the FMS provides valuable data to dance teachers and phys ther (physical therapists), aiding them in creating targeted training programs. These programs aim to improve areas of weakness, strengthen overall movement competency, and reduce the dancers’ injury risk.

In essence, the FMS is not just a predictive tool but a preventive measure that nurtures a safer environment for dancers. By integrating FMS into the regular assessment and training routines in dance schools and professional ballet companies, the prevalence of injuries can be significantly reduced. This integration would promote better health among dancers, enhance their performance, and extend their career longevity.

Hence, the role of Functional Movement Screen in predicting injury risk in ballet is undeniably significant. Its application could revolutionize the approach towards injury prevention in the world of ballet, making the beautiful and demanding art form safer for its performers.