Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)

SFMA is a set of seven full-body movement tests evaluated and scored in patients experiencing pain. The assessment logically breaks down dysfunctional patterns pinpointing the root cause as a mobility problem or a stability/motor control problem. Depending on the results, manual therapies or corrective exercises will be used as treatment.

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 Active Spine and Sport's doctors use Selective Functional Movement Assessment to pinpoint the root cause of your mobility or stability issue.

Active Spine and Sport's doctors use Selective Functional Movement Assessment to pinpoint the root cause of your mobility or stability issue.

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a series of 7 full-body movement tests designed to assess fundamental patterns of movement such as bending and squatting in those with known musculoskeletal pain. When the clinical assessment is initiated from the perspective of the movement pattern, the clinician has the opportunity to identify meaningful impairments that may be seemingly unrelated to the main musculoskeletal complaint, but contribute to the associated disability. This concept, known as Regional Interdependence, is the hallmark of the SFMA.

The assessment guides the clinician to the most dysfunctional non-painful movement pattern, which is then assessed in detail. This approach is designed to complement the existing exam and serve as a model to efficiently integrate the concepts of posture, muscle balance and the fundamental patterns of movement into musculoskeletal practice. By addressing the most dysfunctional non-painful pattern, the application of targeted interventions (manual therapy and therapeutic exercise) is not adversely affected by pain.

Clinical Application

Once Clinical Predictive Rules and diagnosis-specific techniques are exhausted, applying the SFMA model will allow for individualized exercise prescription and progression, which encompasses the concept of regional interdependence.

As musculoskeletal system experts, it is essential that healthcare providers understand the relationships between body segments and how impairments in one body region may adversely affect function of another body region. Approaching therapeutic exercise prescription from a movement perspective model allows the concepts of muscle imbalance and regional interdependence to be addressed in a logical, methodical manner.

I am thankful for the excellent results! The staff and doctors at Active Spine and Sport provide a pleasant, comfortable, and very professional environment. I appreciate that Dr. Mulhall takes the needed time to carefully diagnose and effectively treat a problem. Being a patient at Active Spine and Sport has definitely been a blessing to me.
— C J

Considering Patterns of Movement

Pain-free functional movement for participation in occupation and lifestyle activities is desirable. Many components comprise pain-free functional movement including adequate posture, ROM, muscle performance, motor control, and balance reactions. Impairments of each component could potentially alter functional movement  resulting in or as a consequence of pain. Utilizing the SFMA, the clinician is able to identify key functional movement patterns and describe the critical points of assessment needed to efficiently restore functional movement. This approach is designed to complement the clinician's existing exam and intervention model with the prescription of movement based therapeutic exercise. The SFMA serves to efficiently integrate the concepts of posture, muscle balance and the fundamental patterns of the movement system into musculoskeletal practice. Additionally, it provides feedback for the effectiveness of the therapeutic exercise program, which  targets the dysfunctional movement pattern and related impairments.