Selective Functional Movement Assessment

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a series of seven diagnostic full-body movement tests that are used to evaluate individuals suffering from musculoskeletal pain. The purpose of the assessment is to determine the issue that is causing the pain, not just the symptoms. Because it is a systematic approach, SFMA is very efficient and provides an opportunity for your chiropractor to align treatment methods that target the main issue causing the pain. The test looks for patterns of movement including bends and squats, and reveal issues that may seem unrelated but contribute to the overall concern. While similar to the Functional Movement Screen (FMS), SFMA is used when pain from movement is present, and the FMS focuses more on mobility without pain.

What Is The Selective Functional Movement Assessment?

The seven movement tests that make up the SFMA may look like simple mobility exercises; however it is not the level of complexity but the interpretation of the movement patterns that provide the information needed for corrective action. It requires a skilled and highly trained practitioner to administer the tests and interpret the results correctly. The first assessment is the Cervical Spine Movement Assessment consisting of three different movement patterns focusing on the head and neck. The second is the Upper Extremity Movement Pattern, which involves two different movement patterns focusing on the shoulders and arms, as well as a pain provocation test.6003172764_186d6e97ab_o

The Multi-Segmental Flexion Assessment is third involving a bent reach towards the toes. And the fourth is the Multi-Segmental Extension Assessment, which examines the typical extension of the shoulders, hip, and spine. The fifth assessment is the Multi-Segmental Rotation Assessment, which looks to determine rotational movement patterns in the neck, trunk, pelvis, hips, knees, and feet. This is followed by the Single-Leg-Stance Assessment, which determines the stability of each leg using dynamic leg swings. The final assessment is called the Overhead Deep Squat Assessment, and it examines the bilateral symmetrical mobility of the hips, knees, and ankles. As the movements that are part of each assessment are completed, the level of pain is rated to fall into one of four separate categories.

SFMA Categories

Unlike the FMS, which rates mobility with a 0-3 score, the SFMA assigns each movement assessed to a pain category. The four groups are Functional Non- Painful (FN), Functional Painful (FP), Dysfunctional Painful (DP), and Dysfunctional Non-Painful (DN). Once an assessment is given a category, the provider can determine the root cause of the issue. Movements in the Dysfunctional Non-Painful category are most often what will lead to the exact source of the problem. A flow chart will then guide the practitioner through corrective exercise and treatment methods for fastest and most effective relief.

What Are The Benefits Of A Selective Functional Movement Assessment?

The largest benefit of SFMA is the opportunity for patients to experience relief much sooner and more efficiently than other diagnostic treatment methods. This is because SFMA targets the cause of the issue and systematically targets it with specific treatment activities. Furthermore, SFMA can be an excellent tool to aid in prevention as well. By examining the movement of the body, poor movement patterns that can lead to injury are determined and prevented. While proper movement patterns are no guarantee an injury will not occur, they are more likely to help in the future physical health of the patient than other methods.

It is important that you undergo the SFMA only through licensed healthcare providers such as chiropractors, physical therapists, medical physicians and athletic trainers. Using FMS and SFMA in conjunction under the supervision of a medical professional provides a comprehensive care tool that gives lasting relief from pain and mobility issues and prevents further or future injury events.

Why Accelerate Chiropractic?

At Accelerate Chiropractic, we can effectively diagnose, educate you on the issue, and successfully treat the underlying cause of your pain by using The Selective Functional Movement Assessment. We are dedicated to preventing injury, eliminating your pain, and restoring your mobility for improved quality of life.

Dr. Dave Yancey and Dr. Erika Yancey understand the conditions that can be revealed by The Selective Functional Movement Assessment, and they are passionate about your care. Learn about our experience and contact us today to schedule your personalized consultation. It is time to reclaim the freedom that comes with mobility and comfort through Accelerate Chiropractic’s care.

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Dave Yancey
Accelerate Chiropractic & Rehab
304 4th Ave NE • Waite Park, MN 56367

ph: 320-774-1646 • fax: 877-828-6193 | EMAIL


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