Functional Movement Screen

Issue this Functional Movement Screen Test (FMS) to your clients to evaluate their musculoskeletal health.

By Jamie Frew on Jun 20, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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Functional Movement Screen PDF Example
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What is a Functional Movement Screen?

The , also known as FMS, is a series of standardized tests to objectively evaluate a client’s everyday movement patterns and assess if there are any potential or increased risks to developing or sustaining musculoskeletal disorders.

Each of the standard tests in the Functional Movement Screen (deep squat, hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight-leg raise, trunk stability pushup, and rotary stability) are also meant to check one’s dynamic stability, coordination, flexibility, and core strength.

Although it is a given that a health professional must administer this screen test, anyone can be asked to take a test, whether that’s a high-performing athlete or an active older adult. Should your client be wary of taking such tests, you may tell them that it’s as simple as checking if joints are moving smoothly and adequately, like how a person evaluates a toy robot's moving parts. Moreover, the test should only take 20 minutes, so they’ll be finished in no time.

At the end of a test, a health practitioner may use this document as a basis for:

  • Further tests for a diagnosis
  • Developing programs for injury prevention, performance enhancement, or rehabilitation for athletes
  • Basic health fitness program for other clientele

Printable Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

Download this Functional Movement Screen (FMS) and assess your client’s musculoskeletal health.

How Does this FMS Test Work?

Step One. Access the Template and Fill it Out.

Search for “Functional Movement Screen” in Carepatron’s template library. Download and print a copy or edit on your Carepatron app, available on desktop, iOs, and Android. 

Fill out the corresponding details: name, date, date of birth, contact number, address, gender, sex, height, weight, and any additional information if the client is an athlete.

Step Two. Conduct the Test

Before you begin, prepare the following equipment needed for the test:

  • Dowel or measuring stick
  • Hurdle
  • Measuring Device

Once you’ve set up, conduct the test by asking your client to do the movements one by one. It’s highly recommended that you follow the top-to-bottom order on the functional movement screen template.

Step Three. Write the Score and Notes

After every test, don’t forget to fill up both the raw score and total score boxes. Feel free to write down notes or observations in cases where you don’t give the client a score of 3.

Step Four. Compute Total Score

Once you’re finished, add the final scores to come up with a total score.

FMS Scoring

FMS Scoring is quite straightforward. 

For the raw score, a client should receive:

  • The score of one (1) if they are unable to complete or even assume the position to perform the movement
  • The score of two (2) if they must compensate in some way to do the movement, and 
  • The score of three (3) if they are able to perform the movement correctly without compensation. 

To get the final scores, you must do the following:

  • Keep the raw score of the deep squat and trunk stability pushup. 
  • Add the raw scores of the tests not mentioned above. These are the tests where you monitor the left and right sides individually.

Finally, get the total score by adding the final scores together.

If you need help remembering the scoring procedure, you can refer to the scoring guide in your functional movement screen template.

FMS Example (Sample)

This Functional Movement Screen test is designed to be easy to understand and accomplish. Refer to this guide for an idea of scoring and commenting accordingly.

Download this Functional Movement Screen Example (Sample) here:

FMS Example (Sample)

When to Use Functional Movement Screen PDF?

Any health practitioner can conduct the tests anytime and anywhere as long as they have the equipment and the Functional Movement Screen template available in PDF format on hand. 

However, to prevent distractions, it’s best to conduct the test at places where practitioners and clients undergo fitness testing, athletic performance, and physical therapy. 

To make the most out of the assessment and the template, it’s best that the test conductor only use the FMS template when:

  • They are not looking to diagnose any orthopedic or musculoskeletal problems. 
  • They are not looking to screen other systems or more specific parts of the musculoskeletal system.
  • The client isn’t experiencing pain, hasn’t suffered from previous musculoskeletal system injuries, or hasn’t undergone tests for their joints, bones, and the like. 
  • They need a replicable, reliable, objective test that can be accomplished in less than half an hour.

Although our template is meant for one-time assessment per client, you can always print or save several blank copies of the Functional Movement System template for re-screening after around 4-6 weeks. Re-screening is helpful to check the effectiveness of the program the client is undergoing to move from bad to good or better in mobility.

Who is this FMS Screening for?

The following practitioners concerned with the musculoskeletal system can benefit from using our template:

  • Primary healthcare providers
  • Physiotherapists
  • Orthopedists
  • Phsytriast
  • Rheumatologists
  • Physical therapy and Injury specialists
  • Sports medicine physician

Though some of the specialists mentioned above are qualified to make diagnoses while doing the test, they must stick to screening or at most, only formulate a clinical impression. This is because it’s encouraged that a patient undergoes further testing and sets a separate appointment for more thorough assessments.

In case the following health practitioners need assistance narrowing down the clients, here’s a list of the usual people practitioners conduct the test on:

  • Middle-aged individuals: people around this age may be experiencing functional-movement concerns that come with aging
  • Athletes of every level: may be relying on compensations do basic movements which can damage their musculoskeletal system in the long run
  • Military and firefighters: their jobs are physically demanding and getting into fundamental positions correctly and naturally in stressful situations can help prevent injuries. 
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Benefits of Free Functional Movement Screen

Efficient Screening

An efficient screening tool only takes around 20 minutes. Hence, if you need a quick assessment to check your client’s musculoskeletal health, the Functional Movement Screen is perfect. You’ll be able to cover most bases in the shortest amount of time possible. 

Objective Measurement

Compared to other tests or a Q&A session, a functional movement screen can provide numerical results, making it an objective measurement of musculoskeletal health. 

Can Be Used for Comparison

One of the goals of conducting a free functional movement screen is to provide a basis for the client’s current musculoskeletal health. So, whether the client is looking to improve from their poor condition or improve to get a score of 3 in each exercise, should the practitioners need a point of reference to see how much the client has improved and to compare scores, they can use this template with the initial test score.  

Promotes Collaboration

Since this template is strictly for screening, if one were to finalize a diagnosis, one must converse with specialists who concern themselves with dealing with disorders in the musculoskeletal system. And if the client is healthy and only needs improvement, practitioners would also need to collaborate with clients and fellow physical therapists to design a movement program.

Saves time and money

Although a single physician can conduct the test with any type of individual, most of the time, it is done on middle-aged employees and athletes. 

Using this ready-made template saves test conductors time creating multiple copies from scratch. All they have to do is download and print the template or, to save money, store the notes on Carepatron’s HIPAA-compliant, secure EHR. 

Why use this FMS app?

Having to do administrative tasks on top of giving stellar patient care can really test a practitioner’s patience and endurance. It steers the practitioner’s focus from the patient to checking e-mails or scheduling appointments manually. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

With Carepatron, the leading practice management software in the healthcare industry, professionals such as yourself can automate all tasks outside of appointments, sessions, tests, etc., with the help of our means and tools. Here are some features of our software you may find helpful:

  • Clinical Documentation
  • Appointment Scheduling
  • Patient Engagement via Telecommunication
  • Billing and Payment Automation

Aside from those, Carepatron also contains resources such as PDF templates, like this Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Test, you can download and print out or edit digitally with a PDF editor or Carepatron. These templates, along with digital results and notes, are not only accessible on any gadget anytime, anywhere, but they can also be stored on Carepatron since we are a HIPAA-compliant, reliable, and secure EHR. .

Sign up and give Carepatron a shot today!

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How to administer the Functional Movement Screen?
How to administer the Functional Movement Screen?

Commonly asked questions

How to administer the Functional Movement Screen?

One administers the Functional Movement Screen by setting up the needed equipment, downloading the template, having it on hand, asking the client to do the movements written on the test, and scoring them.

How to interpret the Functional Movement Score?

Interpreting the raw and total score is as simple as following the legend written on the template. However, as for the total score, According to research, if your client scores less than or equal to 14, they have a higher risk of getting a musculoskeletal injury.

Who created the Functional Movement Screen?

The functional movement screen was developed in the 1990s by Gray Cook and Lee Burton, who were physical therapists.

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