Recently, I had the pleasure of evaluating a wonderful patient who was referred to Furnace Brook Physical Therapy by a local Boston MD for their knee. Sounds fairly typical for us, right? Well, the interesting piece of the puzzle here was that the doctor specifically referred the patient to our clinic with an order for an SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment). This is an evaluative procedure that I happen to be certified in. While we have great relationships and work with many excellent doctors in the Greater Boston area, this was the first time I had seen a surgeon refer specifically for this assessment. I found that to be very interesting and thought it was great that the doctor was aware of this particular evaluation tool. This is a great indicator of the surgical / medical world melding with the rehab world to improve patient outcomes.
The SFMA is a useful clinical tool that I incorporate into nearly all of my initial physical evaluations. It is a head to toe, joint by joint, physical assessment that looks at a variety of factors throughout the body that may be contributing to painful symptoms within a specific joint or region. It is a screen designed to leave no rock unturned in the search for painful stimuli and ensures that the clinician is mindful of the effect that motion restrictions or weakness in surrounding joints can have on the painful area. While I don’t think it is the end all be all by any means, I do think that it is a course and certification that is extremely useful to all entry-level sports medicine or orthopedic based physical therapists. I believe the Selective Functional Movement Assessment is a highly effective tool, and an essential part of what I do here at Furnace Brook PT to make people feel better.
Ryan Sheedy, DPT, OCS, TPI