The Pro sports blog
The material provided here is general information and individual advice should be obtained with an evaluation or assessment by an appropriate physical therapist
Ian Stout, SPT, LAT, ATC
The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a structured, organized, systematic tool designed for clinicians to identify abnormal movement patterns in musculoskeletal injuries. This system can identify limitations to the movement and symptom provocation to design treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. SFMA gives the clinician feedback to design a plan of care that integrates the concepts of posture, muscle balance, and fundamental movement patterns in rehab.
SFMA focuses on top tier assessment that can classify the patient into 4 different categories. The top tier movement assessment results lead to a breakout sheet of movement pattern to determine the true case of dysfunction. The breakout flowchart indicates a mobility issue associated with tissue/ joint dysfunction, or it can result in a stability issue coupled with motor control dysfunction.
Once the type of dysfunction is identified, the clinician can develop a plan of care. The treatment plan is based off of the 4x4 matrix for the reloading stage. The 4x4 matrix begins in a fundamental stage and the goal is to advance to a functional stage involved with a variety of stability phases. The objective of the 4x4 matrix is to correct faulty movement patterns in a systematic progression.
The literature identifies the SFMA to have good intra-rater reliability correlated with more experience utilizing the assessment tool. Research indicates poor to moderate inter-rater reliability between multiple examiners. Studies have shown the to be a valid test and demonstrate improvement in function, which is strongly related to the decrease in pain during movement, rather than the quality of movement.
The following presentation explains the SFMA certification categories and involves an in-depth description of the 7 different movement patterns, and how to grade each one. Being able to grade each pattern allows a clinician to determine the true dysfunction and how to approach the appropriate plan of care. The SFMA is a great clinician systematic tool, but is very similar to how physical therapists evaluate, diagnose, and treat on a daily basis.
For more information:
1.Riebel M, Crowell M, Dolbeer J, Szymanek E, Gross D. CORRELATION OF SELF-REPORTED OUTCOME MEASURES AND THE SELECTIVE FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT ASSESSMENT (SFMA): AN EXPLORATION OF VALIDITY. The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2017;12(6):931-947.
2.Kathryn GR, Christopher JM, Lindsay BC, Stephanie DSL, Timothy HE. Intra- and Inter-rater Reliability of the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 2014;9(2):195-207.
3.SFMA. Functional Movement Systems. https://www.functionalmovement.com/system/sfma. Accessed November 7, 2017.