February 17, 2023

What is the Selective Functional Movement Assessment?

Before flying, airline pilots go through a thorough checklist to make sure the plane is ready for takeoff. When we go to the dentist, we have an expectation for what will happen (a hygienist will clean our teeth, tell us to floss more, and check for cavities). Physical therapy can be extremely variable, and the style of an evaluation can depend on which therapist you see. A few physical therapists at Joint Ventures recently became certified in the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) in order to help create a standard evaluation that can be used for any orthopedic condition. The SFMA is a comprehensive assessment that helps identify movement dysfunctions and guides the therapist to the appropriate treatment, whether it be hands-on or exercise-focused.

What should you expect as a patient undergoing a SFMA evaluation?

A SFMA-trained therapist will lead you through a series of movements which may be as basic as moving your neck in certain directions or performing squats. If you have any pain or are unable to perform the full motion smoothly, we will go through a standardized checklist of tests to determine the cause of this dysfunction (i.e. is it due to a mobility problem? Is it due to a strength limitation? Is it due to the knee or the hip, etc).

The purpose of the SFMA is to create a more standardized evaluative tool that can be used for any musculoskeletal or orthopedic condition.  At Joint Ventures, our goal is for you to reach your goals and we believe that the SFMA is a great tool that can help achieve this.

-Dan Rabinowicz, PT, DPT