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The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)

By Casey Edwards, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS, CDN | May 3, 2016

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is an assessment tool used by medical or rehabilitation specialists (including certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, and physicians) to examine individuals who have pain with movement and activities. The assessment is based on 10 movements, which can be deconstructed to stress specific joints and tissues. The goal of the assessment is to identify the specific dysfunctions that are contributing/causing the patient’s musculoskeletal pain. By using this assessment tool, we can effectively assess the patient’s primary complaint as well as find other contributing factors elsewhere that may not have been as obvious. For example, pain that presents itself in the  knee can actually sometimes be exacerbated by a restricted ankle or hip joint.

At VTFC, we primarily use the SFMA with athletes. We also adapt parts of the SFMA tests to fit our functional testing needs for our other patients. Using the results of the SFMA and other objective measures, we formulate a comprehensive rehabilitation plan which includes improving range of motion and mobility, strengthening weak musculature, and establishing proper coordination of movements and motor planning.

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Casey Edwards, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS, CDN

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