Selective Functional Movement Assessment

Selective Functional Movement Assessment

What is the Selective Functional Movement Assessment?

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a clinical assessment tool. It is used to determine a movement diagnosis for those who experience pain. A movement diagnosis is different from a typical medical diagnosis because it focuses on movement. 

Here at Symmetry Physical Therapy, we are able to use this assessment tool to develop an all-inclusive treatment plan based on limitations that may be affecting your movement and causing you to have pain.

Regional Interdependence – what is it and why does it matter?

When going through a rehabilitation program, it is important to determine the root cause of pain – not just the source of pain. For example, the source of pain may be your knee. But, the cause of the pain may be coming from weakness in your hip or mobility restrictions in your ankle.

If we were to only treat your painful knee, it is likely the symptoms would return. This is because the root cause of driving the dysfunction is actually the hip or ankle. This idea is known as regional interdependence and refers to the concept that seemingly unrelated issues may be the cause of your pain.

Stability vs Mobility

The SFMA also takes into consideration mobility versus stability issues. It is important to make this distinction because each issue should be treated differently. For example, one person may have a limited range of motion while turning their head due to mobility restrictions in the joints or soft tissues surrounding the neck.

Meanwhile, another person may have a limited range of motion while turning their head due to stability and motor control deficits. The first person would be treated with manual techniques to improve joint mobility and soft-tissue extensibility. The second person would be treated with stability exercises to improve motor control. Treating each dysfunction appropriately helps you to see results faster and decrease overall treatment time.

Selective Functional Movement Assessment

Interested in learning more?

As a certified SFMA Practitioner, I encourage you to take charge of your health and come in for a full-body movement assessment. You will learn where your limitations are and which areas are contributing to your pain. This will help you gain control of your body and learn how to prevent further injury. Please feel free to contact me at Symmetry Physical Therapy so I can answer any questions you may have.

Selective Functional Movement Assessment


We are here to help! At Symmetry, we will provide you with a physical therapy assessment to get to the root cause of your pain. Check out our Youtube channel for more tips and easy to follow exercises videos. 


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