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Functional Movement (SFMA / FMS)

Move pain-free

Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) & Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

These are more than just letters, they are our foundations for our evaluation philosophies.  They provide a framework for evaluating physical limitations and introduction to a training program that is shaped by personal requirements.  Without some sort of system that evaluates how capable we are at movement fundamentals, we run the risk of overlooking dysfunction or prescribing inappropriate exercises, both of which could increase exposure to injury.

Both the SMFA and FMS systems were introduced in 1995, at a time when there was no systematic tool to identify movement asymmetries or major limitations in functional movement patterns.  Both tools evaluate movement but are separated by a clear distinct marker. That marker is pain. If movement produces pain, the individual would be sent through SFMA. If pain is not present, then the FMS is the appropriate tool.


The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a movement-based diagnostic structure, designed to assess 7 fundamental movement patterns in those with known musculoskeletal pain. The assessment provides an efficient method to systematically find the cause of symptoms, not just the source, by logically breaking down dysfunctional patterns and diagnosing the root-cause as either a mobility problem or a stability/motor control problem.

This systematic process allows our Physical Therapists to clearly match your intervention to the main problem. This model efficiently integrates the concepts of altered motor control, the neurodevelopmental perspective, and regional interdependence into musculoskeletal practice.



The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is our screening tool used to identify limitations or asymmetries in seven fundamental movement patterns that are key to functional movement quality in individuals with no current pain complaint or known musculoskeletal injury.

These movement patterns are designed to provide observable performance of basic loco motor, manipulative and stabilizing movements by placing an individual in extreme positions where weaknesses and imbalances become noticeable if appropriate mobility and motor control is not utilized.

The FMS has long been used in professional and college athletics.  Whether at the NFL Combine or among medical and athletic training staff, the majority of NFL players are evaluated using the FMS.  Obviously, the application of the FMS isn’t limited to the professional level.  Numerous college programs use the FMS to learn more about the physical capabilities of their athletes and build more efficient, tailored training programs.