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Selective Functional Movement Assessment

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a comprehensive assessment used to classify movement patterns and direct manual therapy and therapeutic exercise interventions. This assessment guides the clinician to the most dysfunctional movement pattern. Then breaks down the abnormal patterns to discover problems in compensatory movements. posture, range of motion, muscle performance, motor control, balance reactions,  muscle imbalances, and lack of joint mobility and stability.   The SFMA takes a look at the whole body using a holistic mindset taking into account relationships between body segments and how impairments in one body region may adversely affect function of  another body region and get to the root of the problem.  The shoulder affects the hip and foot affects the low back, the neck affects the hand. Etc. The system then directs individualized therapeutic exercise prescriptions and  focused manual therapy to correct the root of the problem.

 The SFMA is a series of 7 full-body movement tests designed to assess fundamental patterns of movement such as bending and squatting in those with known musculoskeletal pain. When the clinical assessment is initiated from the perspective of the movement pattern, the clinician has the opportunity to identify meaningful impairments that may be seemingly unrelated to the main musculoskeletal complaint, but contribute to the associated disability. This concept, known as Regional Interdependence, is the hallmark of the SFMA. 


The assessment guides the clinician to the most dysfunctional non-painful movement pattern, which is then assessed in detail. This approach is designed to complement the existing exam and serve as a model to efficiently integrate the concepts of posture, muscle balance and the fundamental patterns of movement into musculoskeletal practice. By addressing the most dysfunctional non-painful pattern, the application of targeted interventions (manual therapy and therapeutic exercise) is not adversely affected by pain.


SFMA offers doctors and physical therapists a new approach to the treatment of pain and dysfunction. Our standardized clinical model ensures isolating the cause of injury and efficient care.

A short introduction to the SFMA

A very in depth look at the Sfma

  1. Why a Functional Approach

    Identify the number one predictor of future musculoskeletal injury. Discuss the contributing factors to suboptimal outcomes for return to sport after injury and rehabilitation. List and discuss the necessary variables for correctly identifying individuals at risk for future injury. List the components of a Standardized Operating Procedure for identifying future injury risk.

  2. Pain Changes Movement

    Describe how pain alters motor control. Appreciate how altered muscle activation influences mechanical behavior. Recognize that currently there is a lack of standardized clinical movement assessment for individuals in pain.

  3. Clinical Movement Assessment

    Define and ascribe the basic classifications of movement patterns in the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). Identify the Top Tier Test of the SFMA and recognize scoring criteria for each test.

  4. The Movement Diagnosis: An Introduction to Breaking Down Dysfunctional Movement Patterns

    Define and apply the concepts of differential diagnosis as used in the SFMA: Mobility & Stability, Unilateral & Bilateral, Loaded & Unloaded, Active & Passive, Consistent & Inconsistent. Define and apply the Stop Light System of score the SFMA Breakouts. List and discuss the “4 Rules of the SFMA” Treatment hierarchy

Active Diagnosis Course

 The Active Diagnosis Course will re-examine and expand what was learned in the Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity and Spine courses. The diagnosis portion consists of an SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment) portion taught by an SFMA instructor, and an ART® full body re-cert course taught by ART® instructors.

This course will successfully correlate the SFMA to ART® Full Body protocols. During instruction, participants will successfully learn how to diagnose and treat using tools from ART® as well as the SFMA.

Oceanside California at the Titliest Performance Institute: A rare chance to watch two masters Dr. Mike Leahy D.C. and Dr. Greg Rose D.C. work together on a case.

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