Your Initial Assessment - The SFMA Top Tier

What do we do when you come in for a consultation session with us? We've had a few requests from our regular viewers to explain a little bit on what our processes are.

Every patient that comes through the door gets a standardised screening procedure done on them – the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment). This is NOT to say that everyone gets a "cookie cutter" approach to treatment – after all each person has their own set pains or problems and goals they want to work towards. Rather, think of it like a pilot who goes through their standardised checklist before each flight. Every client goes through this screening procedure to ensure continuity and consistency of care. Even though there may be variations in treatment techniques and options, one thing we pride ourselves in our clinic is to get a right functional diagnosis between clinicians. This ensures that if you have to switch clinicians for whatever reason, your clinicians will still be on the same thought process and will deliver consistent outcomes.

This screen consists of 10 basic movement patterns namely:

  1. Cervical Flexion
  2. Cervical Extension
  3. Cervical Rotation
  4. Upper Limb Pattern 1 (Medial Rotation, Extension, Adduction)
  5. Upper Limb Pattern 2 (Lateral Rotation, Flexion, Abduction)
  6. Multisegmental Flexion
  7. Multisegmental Extension
  8. Multisegmental Rotation
  9. Single Leg Stance
  10. Overhead Squat

Something which sounds so simple actually tells us a lot, just by the gross patterns. We observe if you can access the movement (functional) and if it is painful; this classifies them into 4 main categories:

  1. FN - Functional Non-painful
  2. FP - Functional Painful
  3. DN - Dysfunctional Non-painful
  4. DP - Dysfunctional Painful

From there, we dive a little deeper into what we call breakouts. This directs us to the components of the movement that are restricting the movement, as well as the suspected reason behind the faulty movement pattern.  

This screen honours the concept of regional interdependence. That is, that seemingly unrelated impairments in a remote anatomical region may contribute to, or be associated with, the patient's primary complaint. For example, a restriction in the feet can actually cause compensations through the knee, hips, spine, up through the neck, and thus causing headaches. This is what we mean when we say that we look at the body as a whole, and not just a particular site! We’re not treating a knee; we’re treating you, a person, who has shoulders, neck, back, foot, ankle and may have a knee problem.

Thus, there is a method to the madness; that we also check your neck and shoulder, even if you have come in for a knee injury. Everything is connected in one way or another! What are you waiting for? Come in for your screen today!

Thanks for reading!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4970848/