The SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) is the movement based diagnostic system, designed to clinically assess 7 fundamental movement patterns in those with known musculoskeletal pain. The assessment provides an efficient method to systematically find the cause of symptoms, not just the source, by logically breaking down dysfunctional patterns and diagnosing their root cause as either a mobility problem or a stability/motor control problem. We have added this assessment with all new clients to enhance our already comprehensive approach with each client.


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Normal movement is achieved through the integration of fundamental movement patterns with an adequate balance of mobility and stability to meet the demands of the task at hand. The human system will migrate toward predictable patterns of movement in response to pain or in the presence of weakness, tightness, or structural abnormality. Over time, these pain-attenuated movement patterns lead to protective movement and fear of movement, resulting in impairments such as decreased mobility, muscle length changes, and decreases in strength. Functional restoration requires a working knowledge of functional patterns and a map of dysfunctional patterns to gain clinical perspective and design an effective treatment strategy.

Many components comprise pain-free functional movement including adequate posture, range of motion, muscle performance, motor control, and balance reactions. Impairments of each component could potentially alter functional movement resulting in or as a consequence of pain. Utilizing the SFMA, Total-PT is able to identify key functional movement patterns and describe the critical points of assessment needed to efficiently restore functional movement. This approach is designed to complement our existing exam and intervention model with the prescription of movement based therapeutic exercise.