The Selective Functional Movement Assessmnet (SFMA) was developed by Gray Cook and colleagues, the same group who developed the Functional Movement Systems. The SFMA is meant to be used in a diagnostic capacity for musculoskeletal assessment when pain is present. The SFMA is a clinical model used to assist diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders by identifying dysfunctions in movement patterns.
The SFMA is meant to be used by physiotherapists / physical therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors, and physicians. It was created to measure the status of movement-pattern related pain and dysfunction using bodily regional interdependent movement to aggravate symptoms and expose the limitations and dysfunctions. It uses a series of full-body movements to identify possible movement dysfunctions. The purpose of the SFMA is to assess the quality of the movements; it is not about how many repetitions the person can perform, but rather the quality of the movement pattern. The SFMA helps to expose possible asymmetries and pathological movements patterns, as the root cause of a painful problem. This will in turn, help guide a treatment plan to restore pain-free movement and function.
To understand how to use the tool properly, it is important for the clinician to understand the terms "tightness" and "weakness", within the SFMA framework. The SFMA system understands "tightness" as an issue with tissue extensibility and / or a joint mobility dysfunction. "Weakness", on the other hand, refers to the stability of the joint and it's associated motor control. The SFMA tool is helpful to be used during the initial physical evaluation of a patient, but the clinician should be aware of the acuteness or irritability of the presenting signs and symptoms. The SFMA may not be practical for use during an acute episode. The SFMA enables the evaluating clinician or therapist to identify and treat regions in the body that lack mobility (range of motion), or stability (motor control), allowing for an accurate treatment to restore pain-free function and movement.