The SFMA fills our clinical need to assess for stability and/or motor control dysfunctions as well as mobility dysfunctions.
The SFMA is our clinical assessment for those who experience pain. It is a movement based diagnostic system which systematically finds the cause of pain – not just the source – by logically breaking down dysfunctional movement patterns in a structured, repeatable assessment.
Look at it this way. When you head to the hospital for shooting arm pain, the immediate course of action is to check your heart, not your arm. The symptoms down your arm are just a result of a problem elsewhere in the body. Similarly, the SFMA focuses on underlying dysfunctional movement to find the cause of pain, not just the source. This concept is better known as regional interdependence – how seemingly unrelated problems are actually driving the dysfunction.
SFMA is a diagnostic system (that can only be performed by medical professionals) similar to that of the McKenzie system. The SFMA assessment is broken down into 7 Top Tier tests and graded as Functional and Non-painful (FN), Functional Painful (FP), Dysfunctional Non-painful (DN), and Dysfunctional Painful (DP). If a Top Tier test does not pass the FN grade, then that specific movement must go to a breakout pattern to find the true cause of dysfunction. To simplify things, the “true cause of dysfunction” can either be viewed as mobility (Tissue Extensibility Dysfunction (TED)/Joint Mobility Dysfunction (JMD)) OR a Stability/Motor Control Issue (SCMD).
The SFMA has been used to identify remote dysfunctions through the utilization of 7 top-tier (ie, basic movement) assessments.