Chapter Seven: SFMA Introduction and Top-Tier Tests

The top-tier assessments of the SFMA are covered in these 26 pages, which contain a discussion of the overlying considerations of functional versus dysfunctional and painful versus non-painful, the overriding criteria of the SFMA system. The seven elements of the top-tier will direct you to the breakout tests found in Chapter 8.

Audio commentary:Gray talks about how to use the SFMA in this 10-minute mp3 audio file (right click to download)

Chapter Seven introduces the SFMA, which is directed toward medical professionals. Gray and Dr. Shirley Sahrmann of the physical therapy program at Washington University in St. Louis-School of Medicine shared an indepth interivew by Joe Heiler of Sports Expert Rehab in which they discussed the line between fitness and medical professionals, among other things. You can listen to that here. (right click to download)

The book downloads section, here, will supply you with the SFMA score sheets and flow charts.


  • Considering Patterns of Movement Clinically
  • The SFMA Characteristics
  • Mapping Movement Patterns
  • SFMA Criteria
  • Functional and Non-Painful (FN)
  • Functional and Painful (FP)
  • Dysfunctional and Painful (DP)
  • Dysfunctional and Non-Painful (DN)
  • The SFMA Top-Tier Tests
  • Assessment Results Hierarchy
  • The SFMA Versus the FMS
  • Pain and Motor Control
  • Clinical Musculoskeletal Evaluation
  • Levels of Information
  • Evaluation Hierarchy
  • Functional Patterns and Postures
  • Provocation of Symptoms
  • The SFMA Top-Tier Assessments
  • Cervical Spine Assessment
  • Upper Extremity Movement Pattern Assessments
  • Multi-Segmental Flexion Assessment
  • Multi-Segmental Extension Assessment
  • Multi-Segmental Rotation Assessment
  • Single-Leg Stance Assessment
  • Overhead Deep Squat Assessment
  • Balancing Movement and Pain Information

Go on to Chapter Eight

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