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Musculoskeletal Screening

Your first step in preventing injury and enhancing performance

With years of collective experience in managing recreational and elite athletes from childhood to adulthood, the team at Empower Physiotherapy continues to develop, recommend and deliver the most up to date and evidence based screening tools for individuals and sporting teams.

Why Screen?

The therapists at Empower Physiotherapy regularly help people who have suffered an injury that is preventing them from getting the most out of their lives. Through appropriate diagnosis and treatment, we aim to get those clients back to their best as quickly as possible so that they can return to their lives and achieve their goals – whatever they might be.

Sounds pretty cool, right? But what if we could get those same people to get the most out of their lives, and achieve their goals even more quickly, minus the drama, pain and limitations that come with any injury?

This is where a good musculoskeletal screen comes in!

What is a Musculoskeletal Screen? 

A musculoskeletal screen is essentially a battery of tests that a client is taken through in order to identify any particular areas of concern that may indicate an increased risk of injury.

Combined with an appropriate regimen of management strategies that are undertaken on the basis of this assessment, the evidence demonstrates clearly that we can significantly reduce both the incidence and severity of injuries that occur. That’s right – even if you get hurt after undertaking a screen and an appropriate PEP (Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance) regimen – you will experience less time away from your normal life, suffer less, and be back to your best sooner!

The goal of Empower Physiotherapy’s screening protocols are simple: Enhance Performance, and Prevent Injury

What Sorts of Things Are Tested?

The tests that are included in a musculoskeletal screen will vary based upon the needs and goals of the client being screened, as well as the sport or activity that the person is undertaking.

In most cases, the objective assessment (the tests we conduct with you) will be combined with a pre-screen questionnaire, which will give us important information regarding your current situation, your past history, and your current training or work load.

In general, the musculoskeletal screen will include a number of tests to give us an idea of:

  • Muscular strength and endurance
  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Range of Movement
  • Joint Stability
  • Areas of tenderness or pain
  • Functional Movement Quality/Capacity
  • It is worth noting that we are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of functional movement control as a predictor of both performance and injury risk. After all, it is moving our bodies as a whole that enable us to function optimally; and it is generally during functional body movements that injuries take place.

    We assess functional movements such as squats, bridging, walking and running to see if there are any asymmetries or concerns with deviations from what are generally accepted as normal movement patterns.


    Who Can Undertake a Musculoskeletal Screen?

    Empower Physiotherapy therapists routinely carry out musculoskeletal screens for any sporting team they are involved with managing – and this is a clear indication of how useful we believe such a process is in order to ensure those teams are able to perform to the best of their ability, whilst minimising time lost to injury.

    Such screens are not for the realm of sporting teams only, however. They can also be extremely useful in any of the following groups:

  • Individual athletes
  • Entire sporting teams
  • Work fitness tests
  • Individuals about to embark on weight loss/fitness regimen
  • Individuals with a history of recurrent injuries
  • When Should Musculoskeletal Screens Take Place?

    Whilst screening can take place at any time at all, Empower Physiotherapy generally recommends undertaking the process in the following situations:

    At the start of pre-season training: the screening process can be extremely helpful in guiding pre-season training loads, as well as recommending specific activities to address any issues that have been highlighted by the screen.

    Individual undertaking a new sport or new occupation:  With an understanding of the new demands that the individual will be exposed to, an effective screen can identify possible risk factors that can be addressed through an appropriate preparation regimen. The individual and their coaches or employer can also utilise this information to guide progression in training or workload.

    Prior to a major tournament or sporting event:  Any ongoing issues may be able to addressed by a plan for in-event management; which could include a plan for taping, pre-event massage, or post event recovery tasks.

    What Happens After a Screen?

    Following a musculoskeletal screen with Empower Physiotherapy, individuals will be provided with guidance into an appropriate PEP (Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance) Program specific to their needs. Even if there are no specific areas of concern identified, there is strong evidence that undertaking such an exercise regimen in addition to sports specific training significantly reduces the risk of injury.

    To discover more about PEP programs, please follow this link to our PEP Programs web page.

    Want to Know More?

    If you would like to know more about the Musculoskeletal Screening services offered by Empower Physiotherapy and how they could benefit you, your teams, or your employees, please feel free to enquire to admin@empowerphysio.com.au.

    Your message will be passed on to one of our experienced physiotherapists, who will then respond to your query.

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