Selective Functional Movement Assessment

Selective Functional Movement Assessment

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (S.F.M.A.) is a series of 7 full-body movement tests designed to assess fundamental patterns of movement such as bending and squatting in those with pain. When the clinical assessment is initiated from the perspective of the movement pattern, there is an opportunity to identify meaningful impairments that may be seemingly unrelated to the main musculoskeletal complaint, but contribute to the associated disability.

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.

The goal of the Selective Functional Movement Assessment is to identify the most dysfunctional non-painful movement pattern and break the pattern down to identify the underlying cause of the dysfunction.

This includes using traditional muscle length and joint assessment tests which lead to corrective manual therapy and exercise interventions. The model calls for the intervention to be directed only at the non-painful patterns. This ensures that the adverse effects of pain on the motor control will not hinder corrective strategies.

The human system will migrate toward predictable patterns of movement in response to pain or in the presence of weakness, tension, or structural abnormality. Over time, these pain-attenuated movement patterns lead to protective movement and fear of movement, resulting in impairments such as decreased ROM, muscle length changes, and declines in strength.

Pain-free functional movement for participation in occupation and lifestyle activities is desirable.