The Selective Functional Movement Assessment in New York City

Injuries Treated & Services
Techniques & Methods

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a comprehensive movement-based diagnostic protocol to clinically evaluate 7 basic movement patterns in people experiencing musculoskeletal pain. The evaluation enables for an efficient method to logically determine the cause of symptoms, beyond the source, by analyzing dysfunctional patterns and diagnosing their root cause as either a mobility problem, a stability and/or motor control problem.

Pain-free functional movement consists of numerous components including posture, strength, range of motion, stability, motor control and more. The impairment of any single component can alter functional movement resulting in or as a consequence of pain.   

The source of pain and mechanism of injury can be complex and it’s common to feel chronic pain or an acute injury without an accompanying traumatic event. Treating only the location of the symptoms may inadequately address the true mechanism of the pain or injury, which can be located in a different area of the body or even be asymptomatic.

Thus it’s important to look beyond the location of the symptoms to learn of any movement patterns or dysfunctional forces that caused the tissue damage. It’s also possible that multiple symptoms in numerous areas of the body are entirely unrelated. The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is effective in enabling us to differentiate pain-points and their true sources.

Proper healthy movement is realized from an integration of fundamental movement patterns coupled with a sufficient balance of mobility and stability and strength (required for the task at hand). The human system will adjust toward predictable movement patterns if it is experiencing pain or sensing tightness, weakness, or structural abnormality. Over time, these compromised movement patterns demonstrate signs of protective movement and fear of movement, producing impairments such as muscle length changes, limited mobility, and decreases in strength.  With a working knowledge of functional patterns, the SFMA  enables us to map out dysfunctional patterns  to gain the clinical perspective needed to design an effective treatment strategy.