Is it possible to predict and avoid an injury?

Jekabs Grinbergs

Assuming it's not too severe, we often try to ignore the pain that we may feel during or after a physical activity as we assume it's just part of the process. In reality, the pain that we feel is often caused by sub-optimal movement strategies that we may not be aware of ourselves. For a professional athlete, poor movement quality may lead to difficulties in sport-specific skill learning and even an injury, despite the serious efforts and hard work we put into training. Even for someone who's not a PRO athlete, the consequences may be similar. 

“During the last 5 years of human movement testing, I've seen only a few who possess the ideal movement profile and biomechanics” says Jekabs Grinbergs, a Sport Performance Specialist who recently implemented a new fundamental movement screen (FMS) in the ORTO clinic. “We still seem to be relying on the option of fixing things when they're broken, as opposed to preventing them to break in the first place” (J.G.). The system that he has brought to Latvia after many years of  Sport Science studies in the United States and Spain is being successfully implemented in professional sports clubs both in North America and Europe. The goals of the system are to identify faulty and dysfunctional movement patterns, correct them to prevent an injury and increase the potential of sport specific performance development. 


Sport injury = an accident?

Gray Cook, a physiotherapist and a strength coach, who's one of the founders and creators of the Functional Movement Systems, was traveling back home after seeing an injured athlete and asked himself: ”Was there anything that we could have done to prevent that injury before it happened?”. Jekabs Grinbergs has observed that coaches in Latvia still tend to shrug their shoulders after an athlete gets injured and rarely look for causes of the injury. We still tend to consider injury as an accident. 

The human movement is directly connected to the central nervous system (CNS). As we learn and practice the correct movement and eliminate dysfunction, the CNS saves that information and the new patterns become automatic, protecting us from injury.

“It is impossible to guarantee a complete protection from the possibility of an injury, but we can do testing and implement correctives to decrease the injury risk to a minimum. For example, research shows that 70-72% of the time, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury occurs without an external contact, indicating that the internal factors of the individual are most often at fault. We can decrease the occurrence of this injury by analysing stance, movement patterns, balance and eliminating the disfunctions within these factors” (J.G.).


How do we become dysfunctional?

At the age of an infant, our movement mobility is ideal. Later on we all begin to “specialize” in some specific movement patterns – awkward posture while sitting, carrying a heavy back pack or even doing sports, where we practice and repeat the same skills over and over in order to get better. Some of our muscles become more dominant while others receive less and less stimulus. This in turn affects movement quality, because we begin to compensate with muscles that are stronger and better connected to our central nervous system, however, may not be the proper muscle chain to ensure safety in the particular situation. “ These disfunctions become even more dangerous under a higher intensity where we add greater speed and resistance, and may even hold us back from improvements in our specific sport skills. We are unable to use our resources because at the given moment they are actually not available to us” (J.G.). 


Latvia is too small to lose its professional athletes

The approach of injury prevention may even change our values and way of thinking in regards to Latvian sport. “For many years we have trusted the Soviet sport philosophies where every single coach has their own universal plan and that only hard work is the key to everything. We have been living by the principles of a lottery where one in a thousand might survive and succeed while the rest will burn out, but we are not Russia, and we cannot afford to gamble with our talent. We have to change the way we think, work smart, and take care of each and every athlete by helping him or her access all the inner resources and achieve the highest potential” (J.G.).


A chance to take care of your movement

Even though the fundamental movement screen has been created for injury prevention and performance development in professional sports, it is a suitable test for anyone who loves to stay active or plays sports on a hobby level, because it will help to avoid unnecessary pain and even injury as well as help achieve better results in your craft. 


About the Fundamental movement screen in the ORTO clinic


Fundamental movement screen price – 75 Euro


The test is performed at the ORTO clinic's affiliate in Agenskalns by signing up for a consultation with a sport diagnostics specialist.


The testing and result analysis takes 1,5 hours


If a need for corrective exercises is revealed, an individually tailored corrective program will be made and can be performed both at home or at our physiotherapy gym with the specialist. After a certain amount of time the progress is monitored through re-testing.