CEU Corner: The SFMA


The SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) is a comprehensive assessment utilized to classify movement patterns and help direct treatment interventions. It is a system that helps rehabilitation professionals incorporate movement pattern baselines into their current musculoskeletal examination. In so doing it helps the clinician identify individual movement pattern deficiencies and any provocation of pain with those movement patterns that are unique to each individual. This will help guide the treatment for each individual not just based on their medical diagnosis or localized joint impairments (both of which are vitally important) but towards a more global approach one focused on finding the individual’s most dysfunctional region that is adversely affecting the movement pattern and which could very well be the principle culprit to that individual’s pain.

It is principally based on a concept called regional interdependence. The traditional evaluation focuses primarily on the body part/joint that the patient primarily complains about and, perhaps, the joint above or the joint below as well as then possibly comparing them to the opposite side. However, Regional Interdependence is the term used for expanding that examination to include areas of the body further away from the joint/body part in question.

This past weekend Dr. Ireland attended the certification course for the SFMA. The course highlighted how consistent current research is on identifying the primary cause of injury is altered motor control in a persons movement patterns. An example would be an athlete who sprained his ankle one week but continues to play on the ankle the following week not realizing that they had changed their running pattern. That altered running pattern increased the load to their knee, and when forced to complete a high level sport movement the following week they injured their hip because their hip was not able to handle the increased demand from their lower leg dysfunction.

The SFMA is comprised of 7 ‘Top Tier’ tests each with an accompanying ‘breakout’ algorithm to fully assess and tease out the specific cause of a particular movement patterns dysfunction. By getting to the root of the dysfunction with the SFMA, we can focus the treatment directly to the most important area that could be contributing to your complaint and that could be negatively impacting your recovery.

If you have pain or soreness and are interested in being assessed with the SFMA give us a call and we can set something up, the results may surprise you!