Association of the Functional Movement Screen™ with match-injury burden in men’s community rugby union

Matthew Attwood, Simon Roberts, Grant Trewartha, Michael England, Keith Stokes

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Evidence supporting use of the Functional Movement Screen (FMSTM) to identify athletes’ risk of injury is equivocal. Furthermore, few studies account for exposure to risk during analysis. This study investigated the association of FMSTM performance with incidence and burden of match-injuries in adult community rugby players. 277 players performed the FMSTM during pre-season and in-season time-loss injuries and match exposure were recorded. The associations between FMSTM score, pain, and movement-pattern asymmetries with match-injury incidence (≥8-days time-loss/1000hours), severe match-injury incidence (>28-days time-loss/1000hours), and match-injury burden (total time-loss days/1000hours for ≥8-days match-injuries) were analysed using Poisson regression. Multivariate analysis indicated players with pain and movement-pattern asymmetry during pre-season had 2.9 times higher severe match-injury incidence (RR, 90%CI = 2.9, 0.9–9.7) and match-injury burden (RR, 90%CI = 2.9, 1.3–6.6). Players with a typically low FMSTM score (mean – 1SD threshold) were estimated to have a 50% greater match-injury burden compared to players with a typically high FMSTM score (mean + 1SD threshold) as match-injury burden was 10% lower per 1-unit increase in FMSTM score. As the strongest association with injury outcome was found for players with pain and asymmetry, when implementing the FMSTM it is advisable to prioritise these players for further assessment and subsequent treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1374
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number12
Early online date24 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2018


  • injury risk
  • athlete screening
  • pre-participation
  • athletic
  • evaluation


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