The Functional Movement System (FMS) is an exercise philosophy, developed by a physical therapist named Gray Cook, that allows the clinician to rank and grade movement patterns that are keys to normal function. By screening these patterns, the FMS readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries. These are issues that can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning and distort body awareness. The FMS scoring system is directly linked to the most beneficial corrective exercises. It is used to restore mechanically sound movement patterns, track progress and identify those exercises that will be most effective to restore proper movement and build strength in each individual. This system allows us, physical therapists, to do the following: communicate clearly about progress and treatment, identify asymmetries and limitations, measure performance and functional baseline, and identify dangerous movement patterns.
The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a series of seven full-body movement tests designed to assess fundamental patterns of movement such as bending and squatting in those with known musculoskeletal pain. Upon clinical assessment, the clinician will 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 SFMA.
The baseline assessment serves 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 such as 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 an injury along with an efficient plan of care.