Selective Functional Movement Assessment or SFMA is an assessment tool that practitioners use to get an idea of where the dysfunctions are in your movement patterns. SFMA uses 7 big movements such as a neck movement, toe touch (multi-segmental flexion), extension, rotation, upper extremity, single leg stance and deep squat to reveal movement dysfunctions. It then breaks down the big movement into its pieces to find what is limiting the movement. For instance if you have have a dysfunctional toe touch, meaning you can touch your toes, you may have tightness in your hamstring muscles limiting you being able to get your fingers to reach your toes. We may then check your hamstring flexibility and find it is fine. How can this be?? It's always the hammy right? Wrong! In this case, it will mean that it isn't your hamstrings that are limiting your movement. It is your brain or more specifically motor control, which is how your brain controls your movement. SFMA will then use some corrective exercises to help your brain/nervous system become accustomed to this new movement. You then go to toe touch again and BOOM! you can. You are then given homework exercises to help reinforce those patterns into your memory. You may have been suffering from chronic tight hamstrings and this may now have cleared up as your body isn't trying to stop them elongating. This may have also been contributing to your lower back pain and may help to prevent this from happening now.
SFMA uses some of the latest ideas around movement and motor control to re think what is causing dysfunction and pain in our body. Whether the body is trying to escape or compensate for painful movements or there is a functional core issue. Corrective exercises can reprogram the nervous system to become functional and therefore non painful.
We are now performing functional movement assessments within treatment sessions to see how you are moving and where your dysfunctions may lie. This will give us more input as to where your pain may be coming from.
The more tools we have for assessment the closer we can come to finding the true cause of your musculoskeletal injury. We love keeping up to date with the latest findings in musculoskeletal health so feel free to book in for an assessment and see how you move.