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Importance of Muscoskeletal Screening in Athletes

What is Musculoskeletal (MSK) Screening?

A musculoskeletal screening involves gathering information about an individual’s MSK condition and conducting a series of sport specific assessments to identify risk factors that could predispose an athlete to injury..

Why is it Important?

The primary benefit of a musculoskeletal screening is the prevention of injury.

  • Will identify individual athletes strength and weakness
  • Helps in planning accurate and specific rehabilitation and conditioning program
  • Reduces episodes of training sessions missed due to injury.

How do we screen?

In General:
-Observation of static posture

  • Non functional Assessment of joint movements
  • Muscle Strength and Flexibility
  • Normal gait pattern

Sports specific:
(Why Sports specific: Athletes rarely use single joint movements, instead body works as one unit)
-Dynamic Postural Assessment (Eg: Over head squats, Single leg squats, Push, Pull & Press Tests)

  • Stability Tests
  • Jump Tests
    NB: All tests based on the demand of sport, age, gender and individual

When to Screen?

  • To predict the injury risk factor at the earliest; Preseason MSK Screening plays a vital role
  • Follow up; twice in a season is most recommended

Limitations in Indian Scenario

  • Time consuming
  • Full fledged scientific team is required
  • Funding is limited in most of the clubs/academies
  • No standardized Indian protocol and datas are available to compare the results.
  • Still depending on foreign datas.
  • Lack of Systemic support
    Eg: Latest Technology, Softwares, Statisticians etc..

Future Scope

  • A standardized protocol need to be set by individual associations and should impose to perform on all registered academies or clubs under it
  • Data should be stored
  • After 5-10 years of follow up ; we can come up with a standardised normative data of Indian athletes

FC Mangalore Alumni Mohamed Salah is a Physiotherapy Masters Graduate from Yenepoya University who has represented Karnataka State FA in the AIFF Santosh Trophy. He is currently based in Jamshedpur at the prestigious Tata Football Academy where he works for ISL outfit Jamshedpur FC.

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