Helping Sideout Athletic Development Conduct Important Research on Volleyball Players: Day 2

Helping Sideout Athletic Development Conduct Important Research on Volleyball Players: Day 2

Mischa Harris is the head of strength and conditioning for Team Canada Volleyball and is conducting a study on the FMS, jump technique, and injury prediction in volleyball players.  On December 6, 2011, a few FMS specialists, including myself, went to Trinity Western University to assist Mischa during day 2 of data collection on the men’s and women’s volleyball teams.  You can read about the details of the data collection from our post on day 1 at UBC.

Day 2 went surprisingly quick as screeners and camera operators were dialed in to the protocol Mischa had specified.  The following points discuss Mishca’s preliminary results from his analysis of all of the data we collected.

  • after testing 60 athletes, just under 50% were found to be experiencing current pain in the lower body while playing volleyball. These athletes were not used as subjects for the jump testing and video analysis because research has shown that they might use a pain-avoiding strategy which wouldn’t actually show us a pattern that could cause injury, but one that is caused by injury.
  • however, since the FMS measures pain and dysfunction separately, all subjects completed the FMS – tests are being scored and results will be available mid-January.
  • This high prevalence of injury among volleyball players is especially interesting because according to all studies on injury risk in sports that are based on a time-loss definition of injury (injuries only recorded if an athlete misses a day or more of training or competition), volleyball has one of the lowest injury rates of all sports (around 4 injuries/1000 hours of training/competition).
  • However, one of the world’s leading sports medicine researchers, Roald Bahr (from Norway, runs the Oslo Centre for Sports Trauma Research and literally wrote the book on injury prevention in sports – Sports Injury Prevention –  published an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2009 called “No Injuries, But Plenty of Pain? On the Methodology for Reporting Overuse Symptoms in Sports” exposing the problem of time-loss injury reporting for sports that don’t involve a lot of contact with other players like football or hockey. He goes into detail about how so many athletes now have pain and limited function but are not classified as “injured”. He proposes that a more sensitive evaluation of injury status should be involved with research, one that emphasizes function over a black and white classification like time loss. Enter the importance of the FMS to serve as a functional benchmark to be used across sports which would change the way we look at athlete health and in turn modify the way that we train them – i.e. not isolated training methods to prevent certain time loss injuries like ankle sprains, but more comprehensive, movement based training methods like the best of the best in the S&C industry have been doing for years. Exciting time for the FMS and sports injury research as a whole!

Here are some shots from that evening.


Thanks again to Mischa Harris from Sideout Athletics for allowing us to assist you in this amazing study.  Keep us posted on the final report and we’ll keep educating to athletes of other sports the importance of the FMS.


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