The SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) is a tool used to evaluate movement limitations that are causing pain or discomfort. This assessment consists of seven distinct movement patterns, which help to determine if the underlying issue is caused by tightness or weakness. Each pattern is evaluated against established baseline criteria, and graded as either functional or dysfunctional, and painful or non-painful. The purpose of this assessment is to gain insight into the cause of the pain, allowing healthcare professionals to provide appropriate treatments and advice in order to facilitate recovery.


What Is SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment)?

The SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) is a comprehensive clinical assessment for individuals suffering from pain. This movement-based diagnostic system allows practitioners to identify the source of pain, as well as its underlying cause, by breaking down dysfunctional movement patterns into manageable components and then analyzing them in a systematic and repeatable manner. The SFMA is an effective method for establishing a clear understanding of the musculoskeletal system and its associated functional limitations, allowing healthcare professionals to provide more tailored and holistic care.

What Does SFMA Do?

The SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) is an incredibly useful tool for people who experience pain or discomfort when engaging in any kind of physical activity. It can help individuals from all walks of life – whether it be a gardener dealing with back strain from pulling weeds, or a marathon runner looking to reach their peak performance.

By using the SFMA, those with musculoskeletal issues can find relief, improve their functional abilities, and increase their flexibility and strength. The SFMA assesses movement patterns, evaluates existing levels of mobility and stability, and then develops an individualized plan to address any deficiencies. This system enables practitioners to identify impairments that may be causing pain or limiting function, so they can provide appropriate treatment accordingly.

Speak with an SFMA Expert

Call: (240) 247-0990

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes SFMA Unique?
The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is designed for musculoskeletal assessment in the presence of pain. Developed by Gray Cook and his team, it is part of the comprehensive Functional Movement Systems which seeks to help practitioners recognize and address impairments associated with movement. This system focuses on identifying compensatory or dysfunctional patterns that may be causing pain, as well as implementing corrective strategies for addressing these issues. SFMA is an important tool in helping individuals recover from musculoskeletal injuries and can help restore full function.
SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) is an evaluation system that helps clinicians, therapists, and trainers accurately assess movement patterns by breaking down complex movement patterns into fundamental components. SFMA looks at factors like mobility, stability, and motor control to identify deficits in specific motion patterns. On the other hand, FMS (Functional Movement Screen) is a ranking and grading system used to evaluate individuals whose performance goal requires dynamic co-ordination of numerous muscle groups. FMS includes 7 tests that measure basic movements such as squatting and pushing with an objective score of 0-3 for each test which can help identify strength imbalances or asymmetries within the body.
Is SFMA A Valid System?
Riebel et al (2017) conducted a study to assess the relationship between the Self-Foem Movement Assessment (SFMA) and Patient-Specific Functional Scale as well as other self-reported outcomes. Results of this study suggested that there was a good positive correlation between decreasing painful patterns associated with shoulder girdle and lumbopelvic complaints and improvements in self-reported outcome measures, as indicated by moderate Pearson correlations coefficients of 0.28, 0.52, and 0.41 respectively. However, no significant associations were found between changes in outcome measures and SFMA criterion score, highlighting the need for additional research into this area to precisely determine the relationship between SFMA and site-specific outcome measures.
Is SFMA Reliable?

The SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) is not as well-studied or documented compared to the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). The research conducted on the SFMA has generally found its reliability to be limited, ranging from poor to good. Expert clinicians, however, have been able to demonstrate moderate or better reliability when using the SFMA. Intra-rater and inter-rater reliabilities for categorizing the ten fundamental movements of the SFMA were higher in practitioners with greater experience. A study conducted by Dolbeer et al. (2017) affirmed that those with qualifications in the SMFA had moderate or improved accuracy when utilizing this assessment tool.

What to Expect From Your Visit

When you visit an SFMA practitioner, you should expect a full physical evaluation that may include postural, neurological, and range of motion assessments. Depending on your symptoms and medical history, additional testing such as X-rays or blood tests may also be performed. An SFMA practitioner will then develop a customized treatment plan to address the underlying source of your pain and help improve your overall physical performance.

Treatment plans might include manipulation, dry needling, corrective exercises and more. The goal is to reduce pain and improve mobility in order to return you to optimal health. Your plan may also include lifestyle changes such as nutrition and stress management, activity modification, or other therapies. Follow-up visits are usually necessary to evaluate your progress and adjust the treatment plan accordingly. With an SFMA practitioner’s help, you should be able to find relief from pain and improve physical performance.