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What is Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)?

Athlete running on a dirt path

SFMA is a comprehensive assessment that classifies movement patterns. This system helps the doctor understand the patient’s impairments and determine the best course of treatment (manual therapy and therapeutic exercise) for musculoskeletal conditions.

The History of SFMA

Selective Functional Movement Assessment, popularized in sports medicine research by the Functional Movement Screen and Y-Balance Test, has taught us that capturing injury risk must include the assessment of body relative movement patterns. When the clinical assessment is initiated from the perspective of full body movement patterns, the clinician has the opportunity to identify meaningful impairments that may be seemingly unrelated to the main musculoskeletal diagnosis but are contributing to the primary complaint (regional interdependence). In English this means, we look at how you are moving compared to how you should move. It’s that simple.

Beyond Traditional Kinematic Chain Approach

SFMA extends beyond the traditional Kinematic Chain approach to explore the current best evidence explaining how pain and injury adversely affect motor control. The assessment and exercise intervention model incorporates the basic tenets of human movement from a neuro-developmental perspective. The participant will learn how to identify a patient’s most dysfunctional movement pattern and break that pattern down into its fundamental parts. This will reveal the most meaningful impairment (mobility or stability deficit) to be addressed. Once we determine the underlying cause, we can then utilize our soft tissue techniques, including Active Release Technique and instrument assisted soft tissue techniques to resolve the issue.

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