The Performance Matrix

Movement & Performance Screening: New Strategies for Injury Prevention

19th July 2011

The Performance Matrix - Movement and Performance Screen (MPS) is an online movement screening tool. It consists of a battery of movement control tests designed to identify uncontrolled movement (UCM) using functionally relevant multi-joint movement skills. It identifies movement control deficiencies in people with and without musculoskeletal pain. Each UCM is prioritized as high risk or low risk. (

In sport, a significant predictor of re-injury is having a history of previous injury (Watson AW 2001 Int J Sports Med 22:222–5, Locke S. 2003 J Sci Med Sport 6; Sup:60). Therefore, athletes who return to sport with painfree, mobility and full strength function are the group with significant risk of re-injury. The question, “What is undetected in this group that predisposes them to re-injury?” has not been adequately answered.

A link has been established between uncontrolled movement and risk of injury (Roussel et al 2009 Man Ther 14(6):630-5). Although UCM has been shown to be closely related to the presence of musculoskeletal pain, UCM can be identified in people who have a history of recurrent pain, when they are currently pain free (in between pain episodes) and in people who are pain free and have never had previous pain. Therefore, uncontrolled movement may be a risk factor for the development of musculoskeletal pain or injury and a potential predictor of re-injury risk.

Many current screening tools identify that there is a problem in movement control, but do not classify the uncontrolled movement. This tool has set out to classify and produce an online report of the UCM in terms of 3 criteria:

  1. The sites of UCM (e.g. low back, scapula).
  2. The directions of the UCM at the problem site (e.g. low back-flexion, scapula-forward tilt).
  3. The threshold of control failure as being either low threshold (related to aberrant movement coordination, synergistic patterns of recruitment and alignment) or high threshold (related to strength or speed deficiencies).
Example of the results of risk analysis profile generated by the online tool. Low threshold and high sites and directions of uncontrolled movement are illustrated

The classification of UCM may predict movement control impairments.

The identification of UCM enables the development of highly specific retraining strategies to optimise and accelerate movement control recovery.

The correction of UCM may prevent the onset or recurrence of pain and musculoskeletal injury.

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