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Return to Sport Screen

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When athletes are recovering from an injury, there will always come a point in their rehabilitation program where they ask themselves, "Can I return to my sport now?" Traditional Physical Therapy tests that test strength, flexibility and range of motion sometimes isn't enough to determine whether an athlete is rehabilitated enough to start sport-specific training. The athlete's body needs to be pushed into performing drills and holding positions that tax the body as a whole, and only then can we determine whether they can hold up to the demands of the task, and whether the athlete is at risk for more injury.What are the tests? Stride Strong's Functional Movement Screens test Range of Motion, Strength, Stability and Balance as a whole body system.The tests comprise of:

  • Deep Squat Test
  • Hurdle Step
  • Incline Lunge
  • Shoulder Mobility
  • Impingement Clearing Test
  • Active Straight-Leg Raise
  • Trunk Stability Pushup
  • Press-up Clearing Test
  • Rotary Stability
  • Posterior Rocking Clearing Test
  • Y-Balance Test for asymmetry
  • Long jump test
  • Single leg hop test

Each test has a series of criteria we are specifically looking for. (The photo above illustrates the things we are watching for.) Deficits are measured into a calculated risk of injury should the athlete return to their sport. These deficits also give us physical therapists a hint as to what is lacking - be it core strength, shoulder and torso flexibility, or hip mobility. We then in turn address these deficits by giving the athlete targeted exercises and/or physical therapy to improve their functional results.

Additional sports specific tests may be added to the Functional Movement Screen according to the athlete's sport and team position.

What if I fail some tests, what do they mean?

Scoring low on a particular test usually means a deficit of strength or range. The athlete's sport, of course, needs to be taken into account - of course demands of playing golf would be different than playing football. Both require a varying level of agility and strength, but our physical therapists can guide and judge which physical components would be vital for the athlete's sport.

The Y-balance test, in particular, has strong research to link limb asymmetries in range and strength of greater than 4cm of excursion in the test predictive of risk of injury across multiple sports. This injury risk-profile can be further fine-tuned to normalize for gender and sport.