For several years now, Rebound physical therapy has conducted annual functional movement screening for the Bend Fire Department. This all started as an Injury Prevention Program aimed at keeping the team at the Bend Fire Department healthy and productive. In the beginning, OSHA awarded BFD a grant for injury prevention. Part of that grant was signing an agreement with Physical Therapists for Functional Movement Screening (FMS) based exercises and assessments. The Department selected Rebound physical therapy as their partner in this endeavor. Rebound offered a FMS screen to every firefighter and provided two hour drop in sessions for exercise and therapy as needed. Also, Rebound accommodated any firefighter that got injured to receive treatment in a timely manner to get them back on the line.
This program has been successful for our local firefighters, but it is not exclusive to BFD. Functional Movement Screening has been proven to help identify an athletes’ potential for injury for years. More recently, FMS assessments has been adopted by companies whos employees tend to have a more physically demanding job (contractors, manufactures, tire shop employees, etc…). These screenings and subsequent exercise programs help identify and correct job related biomechanical movements that could lead to injury.
In the words of one Bend fire fighter, “I’ve learned more about how my body moves and the areas I need to work on. Having an awareness of how I move helps me make better decisions on how to do the physical part of my job so I don’t get injured. What we have to do is often spontaneous, requiring odd positions to lift patients, move hose, throw a ladder, and use large power tools.”
FMS assessments can be a important tool in lowering the risk of work injury and mitigating both the cost and frustration of having a skilled worker unable to perform their duties. Too often, the recovery process from a work injury is time consuming and expensive, especially if the injury occurred in a physically demanding setting. If employees can learn the right biomechanics for their job specific duties and practice those movements in a controlled setting, they are less likely to sustain an injury.
Are FMS assessments right for your business? There is one only way to find out. We’re happy to come out and talk to a safety officer and manager about the FMS process and even do an assessment to determine potential job-site injury risks.