Selective Functional Movement Assessment

Selective Functional Movement Assessment

SFMA in Watkinsville & Athens


The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) was developed by Gray Cook and colleagues. The FMS is a set of seven full-body movement tests created to gauge fundamental patterns of movement. FMS is used as a tool to pinpoint imbalances in movement. The FMS intent is to establish inequalities in mobility and stability during seven fundamental movement patterns. The system was created to provide an outline in which to address movement issues and disorders. The basic principles can be applied to anybody. Poor movement can be linked to an underlying issues or injury. This could lead to the risk of future injury and longer recovery times. After the FMS is given in house there will be a carefully programmed out exercise program to help better shore up the opportunities and imbalances in the movement.


The Selective Functional Movement Assessment was developed by Gray Cook and colleagues, the same group who developed the Functional Movement Systems. The assessment is meant to be used in a diagnostic capacity for musculoskeletal assessment when pain is present. It consists of a series of ten functional movements designed to assess fundamental movement patterns of individuals with known musculoskeletal pain. These ten whole body functional movements are then further assessed via algorithms of impairment-based assessments called “breakouts” that dissect each pattern to identify the source of the dysfunction. The system is intended to help identify meaningful impairments, some of which may initially appear unrelated to the primary complaint, in order to facilitate the development and implementation of an individualized plan of care (POC).


Many clinicians confuse the Select Functional Movement Assessment with the Functional Movement Screen (FMS). Both tools are a part of the same Functional Movement System created by Cook and colleagues, but their fundamental purposes are quite different. The Select Functional Movement Assessment is meant to be used in a diagnostic capacity, designed to identify musculoskeletal dysfunction among individuals affected by pain. Whereas the FMS is a screening tool, not intended for diagnosis. The FMS aims to identify imbalances in mobility and stability during functional movements. The two Assessments work hand-in-hand to diagnose movement dysfunction.

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