You may have already heard of the FMS, or Functional Movement Assessment, since many physical therapists, chiropractors, and athletic trainers are now incorporating the test into their practice and client sessions. So, what is it, exactly, and what is the difference between the FMS, SFMA, and YBT? This article will give a short explanation of the three and who might benefit from each one.
The FMS is a screen for movement asymmetries designed for a pain free individual. This screen examines seven functional movement patterns and compares the quality of movement to not only a standard of performance, but also a comparison of performance left and right. If asymmetries are detected, the examiner will provide a brief explanation and a few exercises and stretches to help balance out the dysfunction. If pain is detected, the patient can still perform the test and receive guidance, but it would be best to then follow with the SFMA examination.
The SFMA is a movement based diagnostic system that will thoroughly, and systematically examine seven basic movement patterns for the patient experiencing pain. Each of the seven patterns are evaluated and then broken down further to identify painful structures, and more importantly, find the root cause of the symptoms. For example, the root cause of a patient’s left hip pain symptom may actually be related to compensatory movement from a stiff and limited thoracic (upper) spine. The SFMA would be able to accurately identify the compensatory movement pattern to ensure the problem does not surface again in the future. *Note: The practitioner administering the exam must have extensive knowledge in treatment of joint mobility and stability to address the impairments found. It is my personal recommendation that only a SFMA certified licensed physical therapist, chiropractor, or athletic trainer be administering the test, assessing the outcomes, and implementing treatment strategies.
The YBT is an assessment broken up into an upper quarter (UQ) and lower quarter (LQ) test and can be used for anyone, but especially useful for the athlete. The UQ is examined using a dynamic planke movement where the patient must remain stable as they reach in different diagonal directions. This allows for examination of multi-joint stability and coordination of the entire core. The LQ test uses a dynamic single leg balance movement to examine the multi-joint stability and coordination of different planes of motion.
Together, these three tests make up a measurable way of identifying and diagnosing movement dysfunction. Compensatory movement patterns are the driving force behind many injuries and must be diagnosed and treated in order for long term relief of pain. Innovative Therapy and Wellness has staff trained in all three movement assessments, so stop by or call today to get more information about this service.
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