Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) & Functional Movement Screening (FMS) 



The purpose of the FMS (assessment for the client who is pain-free) and SFMA (assessment for those clients/patients who are currently in pain or have a painful movement) is to find the WHY you have pain by uncovering dysfunctional movement patterns that are lending to or causing your stiffness, aches and chronic pain. Now this can be due to a mobility/flexibility problem or a stability/motor control problem. Once these have been identified through the screening process of FMS/SFMA, we link the assessment information to the ideal therapeutic strategy and initiate the most appropriate treatment plan (Active Release or functional exercises or both) into the personal rehab program to fix dysfunctional movements and normalize your bodies ability to move correctly.

What does this all mean???

For the 9-5’er to a professional athlete this means that we all have some type of movement dysfunction, whether simple or complex, these movement problems contribute to your tightness, stiffness and chronic pain by constantly forcing your body to compensate and change ‘normal’ movements into compensatory movements. The best example of this is when you sprain your ankle you begin to limp to avoid putting weight on that leg/foot that hurts. What happens over time is that you begin to move this way (compensatory movement) as a ‘normal’ movement pattern that never really go back to where you were before, or ‘normal’. The pain from the injury alters the way you move and that stays as part of your movement patterning permanently until you address that problem specifically and fix it.

Things to consider:

Both the FMS and SFMA are meant to be a starting point for any and all rehab programs with the added benefit of be reproducible. This means, that if Dr. Conley assess’s you the day after an injury, he can re-do the assessment along the way to identify what has gotten better and what still needs work. This is so beneficial as it allows the doctor to keep the rehab process specific to you and YOUR injury and not they typical cookie cutter approach to rehab. FYI: if your current treatment and rehab plan has no ‘plan’ or guidance specific to you and your injury’s and movement dysfunctions, the likelihood of you re-injuring yourself are well over 60%. The most common cause of a re-injury, is a past history of a similar injury with improper rehab and treatment plan implementation.

The screens are not a stand alone but are intended to help Dr. Conley fine tune the exact (or as close to as possible) the movement pattern that is lending to or creating your movement dysfunction

The findings are primarily intended to be used to assess weaknesses in your movement AND performance. Meaning that if your left ‘core’ musculature is not responding to stimuli fast enough it will slow your speed and inhibit your ability to create speed and force. Likewise for those sitting at work most of the day, if you have a similar dysfunction, you will compromise your ability to stay strong throughout the day and stable while sitting for hours on end. This one dysfunction can affect two different people, in different worlds quite dramatically and similarly.

Both screens and assessments can be done whether you are in pain currently or not. For many, weekend warrior to pro-athlete, the need to better understand your movement patterns, both good and bad, is of paramount importance if your goal is performance and mitigating the frequency of injury(s). DO NOT WAIT to be in pain before you begin to understand why you move the way you do, identify the cause and FIX IT!!

Supine Pelvic Tilts


  • Breath while you are performing this
  • Make sure you are bracing your rib cage and core properly, follow the cues and take your time
  • Tilt the pelvis with your glutes and ab brace 
  •  Hold this position in accordance with your program 

DO NOT's: 

  • Use your legs to create movement 
  • Hold your breath
  • Use your neck or back muscles to create or hold any position 
  • Have any pain while doing this 
  • NO stiffness or tightness in the low back or neck while performing 



    • Breath!!! 
    • Maintain ab brace 
    • Move slowly and deliberately 
    • Feel the muscles in your hip doing the work 

    DO NOT's: 

    • Have pain anywhere 
    • Hold your breath
    • Use your back or body to create movement 
    • You should not feel this exercise in your quads, hamstrings, ankles or low back - ONLY your glutes
    Hamstring Fascial Stretch 

    DO's and DO NOT's: 

    • Relax your body - other than your quad
    • Stretch to tolerance
    • DO NOT cause pain in the hip, knee or ankle - though the stretch itself is uncomfortable to no push it
    • Breath continuously throughout the stretch
    • Hold the position for the duration of time
    Low Back Pain with Disc Involvement


    • Pain, deep in the hip
    • Pins and needles down the leg, into the calf and/or foot and toes
    • Numbness in the lower leg, foot and/or toes
    • Weakness: you can not move your toes, walk on your heels or toes


    • As above, when the disc becomes involved at this level there have been micro-traumas to the disc over the years and it is finally weakened enough to bulge, protrude or herniate into the nerve root space

    What to do?

    • Typically this one is an immediate spinal ortho referral, MRI to gauge severity and possible surgery depending on severity. NOT ALL DISC problems are surgical. Quite a few can be handled conservatively.


    • Pain that radiates from your lower (lumbar) spine to your buttock and down the back of your leg
    • Usually only one side of the body is affected
    • Pain in the rear or leg that is worse when sitting
    • Hip pain
    • Burning or tingling down the leg
    • Weakness, numbness, or difficulty moving the leg or foot
    • A shooting pain that makes it difficult to stand up


    • Irritation of the nerve root of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine
    • Muscle spasms in the back or buttock
    • Sciatic nerve becomes pinched, usually by a herniated disk in your spine or by an overgrowth of bone on your vertebrae.
    • True Sciatica is generally linked to disc involvement but not usually as intense as far as pain and nerve symptoms (loss of feeling and strength in the lower legs and feet)
    Piriformis syndrome


    • Acute tenderness in the buttocks and sciatica-like pain down the back of the thigh, calf, and foot
    • Symptoms often become worse after prolonged sitting, walking, or running and may feel better after lying down on the back


    • Lumbar herniated disc
    • Degenerative disc disease
    • Piriformis muscles runs from your lower spine to the top of your thigh bone. When this muscles presses on your sciatic nerve the pain is caused.

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