Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)

Our Approach To Selective Functional Movement Assessment

Selective Functional Movement Assessment was developed for practitioners by Gray Cook and his colleagues, the same group who developed the Functional Movement Systems. The assessment is a series of 7 full-body movement tests that are used to assist the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal pain.

At Urban Wellness Clinic, we use SFMA to evaluate seven fundamental movement patterns that are crucial to moving pain-free on every single patient. The assessment provides a clear, systematic picture of what’s going on in your body, so we can trace your pain’s root cause.

Along with our expert’s eyes for compensation patterns, doing a Selective Functional Movement Assessment enables us to prescribe the right mix of treatments. Strength building, Active Release Technique, and other assessment corrective exercises are all forms of treatment we use to get you back to doing what you love, pain-free.

Benefits Of Selective Functional Movement Assessment

SFMA is used as a tool to diagnose dysfunctional movement and identify why you’re in pain. Selective Functional Movement Assessment is also useful in determining whether the pain is a mobility issue, a stability issue, or a motor control issue. This assessment sets a baseline for essential human movement patterns, which we will use to determine the best course of action for therapeutic treatment. Applying the SFMA model will allow for our treatment and exercise plans to be highly individualized. The SFMA assessment is a great tool to:

  • Diagnose dysfunctional movement to identify why you’re in pain
  • Determine whether the pain is a mobility or stability issue
  • Set a baseline for essential human movement patterns

Movements such as bending and squatting are assessed to identify possible movement dysfunctions which can be the root cause of chronic or acute pain. The 7 movement tests are graded on a scale of Functional and Non-painful (FN) to Dysfunctional and Painful (DP). If one of the tests does not pass the FN grade, then we will break out that specific movement into a pattern to find the cause of dysfunction and pain. We look to joint dysfunction, compressed joints, or tight muscles in this case. If one of the tests is graded as DP, we start here with repatterning your motor control and movement patterns.

Who can Benefit from Selective Functional Movement Assessment

We use SFMA on anyone who is suffering from chronic or acute pain or with tight or sore muscles, despite stretching. Performing a Selective Functional Movement Assessment can also help athletes determine the quality of their movements in striving toward their highest training potential.

  • Anyone with tight or sore muscles, despite stretching
  • Someone who is in chronic or acute pain
  • An athlete striving toward their highest training potential

One of the hallmarks of SFMA is the clinician’s opportunity to identify movement impairments that may seem unrelated to the main musculoskeletal complaint, but actually, are contributing to associated pain or disability. The concept is known as Regional Interdependence. By targeting and addressing the most dysfunctional non-painful movement pattern with SFMA, the therapeutic treatment using selective functional movement assessment corrective exercises is not adversely affected by pain.

A great example of this Regional Interdependence that we see all the time in the clinic is and an old ankle sprain leading to neck tightness. The ankle sprain may seem unrelated and like an old injury, but a “sloppy” unstable ankle can work its way up the kinetic chain affecting the mobility of the neck. Our clinicians at Urban Wellness Clinic specialize in locating these compensations and correcting them quickly and efficiently.

Your Visit

All of our assessments at Urban Wellness Clinic start with your health history and a thorough review of how you move. What sets Urban Wellness Clinic apart is our ability to differentiate between mobility and stability problems using SFMA. Each problem requires a unique set of fixes, so it’s important to understand the difference.

During treatment, we test your range of movement and any weak spots, noting your kinetic patterns. We fire up your muscle memory and correct improper form with a powerful combination of Active Release Techniques, Neurokinetic Therapy, and other selective functional movement assessment corrective exercises. Our goal is to empower you to perform at your highest, most optimal level.