Improve Performance with Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)

I just finished a great two-day course on Select Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)! I'm really excited to incorporate this movement based approach to treating pain. What is it?

SFMA is a series of 7 full-body, functional movement tests (i.e., squatting, bending, etc.) that detect deficits in mobility and stability which can increase the risk of injury, compromise athletic or work performance, and reduce overall quality of life.

Athletes must be able to perform a wide variety of movements to safely and effectively participate in their sport. Therefore, rehabilitation and pre-participation screening have moved away from a traditional isolated assessment towards a more dynamic functional approach.

SFMA Assessment

SFMA helps uncover deficits that may be overlooked in traditional medical or performance evaluations. During a detailed assessment, the clinician is looking carefully for  inefficient movement patterns that are used to compensate for weakness or injury.

Without correction, the dysfunctional activity will continue and further reinforce poor biomechanics which can lead to decreased performance and ultimately injury.


I'll give you an example from my own experience.

I've recently started Crossfit, so I've been doing alot of squats lately. I find it difficult to go into a deep squat position with my arms overhead , sometimes causing me to lose my balance and take a step backward.

The SFMA shows that my problem stems from decreased shoulder mobility, insufficient thoracic spine (upper back) movement and poor ankle range of motion. My lack of ankle motion is a result of several ankle injuries during years of playing soccer, while my upper body deficits are just natural dysfunctions.

I've subconsciously developed a risky movement pattern to compensate for these weaknesses. I will either take a stance that is too wide or I will turn my feet out. In addition, my lack of upper spine motion causes me to bend forward at the bottom of the squat.

Click here to see a pic of meworking on my squat atBrazen Athletics


 Targeted treatment (manual therapy and therapeutic exercise) begins by addressing dysfunctional/non-painful movement patterns. This way, the intervention is not adversely affected by pain.

I will have a fellow colleague provide manual therapy to my shoulder, upper spine and ankles to improve my mobility at these joints. I will also need to reprogram my movement pattern to properly utilize improved mobility in perfecting my overhead squat.

Feel Good (and look cool) with Kinesio Tape!

You may have noticed world class athletes sporting various colors of tape on ankles, legs, shoulders and more! This is Kinesio Tape working its magic for the best of the best!

Fortunately, Kinesio Tape is also available to help those of us who are just trying to buckle a seatbelt or take a walk without wincing in pain.

What's Kinesio Tape?

  • The tape has a texture similar to that of living human tissue and the elasticity is comparable to that of a muscle.

  • The taping facilitates natural healing while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the range of motion.

The Many Uses of Kinesio Tape

Kinesio tape has an abundance of positive effects:

  • Re-educate the neuromuscular system

  • Reduce pain and inflammation

  • Relax fatigued overworked muscles

  • Optimize performance

  • Prevent injury

  • Promote improved circulation and healing

Kinesio can be used from head-to- toe to improve the following conditions:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome

  • lower back strain/pain

  • shoulder/knee conditions

  • muscular facilitation or inhibition

  • groin injury

  • whiplash

  • tennis elbow

  • plantar fasciitis

  • pre and post surgical edema

  • ankle sprains

  • nipple burn - not exactly protocol, but works great for men during a run



Who Can Use It?

Utilizing Kinesio Tape takes more than meets the eye. Certification is necessary so practitioners, including Dr. Mayes, have had hands-on training, education, and assessment.

You can buy precut tape to apply yourself, but I would use extreme caution. For instance, you might have knee pain so you apply tape there, but the problem is actually originating in your hip. It's important to have a proper evaluation and diagnosis from a medical professional before beginning any type of treatment. It also takes quite a bit of skill to effectively apply the tape.

To learn more about Kinesio Tape, I encourage you to visit their website.

Personal Testimony

This worldwide phenomenon has definitely made it's mark in our office. Here's what two staff members have to say:

"Dr. Mayes used Kinesio during treatment for my shoulder.  In my vanity, I removed the black tape before heading to a party in a strapless dress and suffered the next day!  I will forever be a fan!" - Melissa Jenkins, Manager

"I've had tape on everything from my foot to my knee and shoulder. It gave me bit of relief for each condition, but I really became an evangelist after being taped during an episode of severe neck pain. It was simple the ONLY thing that gave me relief, functionality, and sleep." - Meri Mayes, Owner IronPT

Have you had Kinesio Tape?

Do you love it as much as we do?

Patient of the Month: January 2013

The minute he walked through the door, we knew LJ was special.

He's focused, hard working and a fierce competitor, but there's not a trace of arrogance to be found. We always love to be inspired by our own patients, especially when they are still in junior high.

We also feel blessed to have gotten to know the entire Castellano family. The warmth, love and respect they have for one another is so rare today. With this kind of support and LJ's own winning spirit, we know his future is bright!

  • Name: LJ

  • Injury: Shoulder

  • Occupation: Student

  • Three Words We Use To Describe LJ: Committed, Humble, Mature



What brought you to PT?

I wrestle on a national level and had a problem with my shoulder. I heard about Iron Physical Therapy and came in to work with Dr. Geno. When I met him, I liked him right away, and he knows how to push me hard.

How have you benefitted from your PT experience ?

I have learned that even though there are problems, if you work hard enough you can find solutions to overcome them.

My shoulder is feeling much stronger, and I am wrestling without any problems.

What would you recommend to someone who has the same injury as you?

Go to Iron because you'll get stronger and be able to compete better.

What activities/goals are you most excited about getting back to?

Wrestling and winning the state title.

 **The criteria for selection were patient compliance, attitude, attendance and Iron PT evangelism**

Does Your Shoulder Hurt Too?

When we recently reviewed our cases from 2011, we saw that over 30% of our patients came to physical therapy to specifically address shoulder problems. And with three people in my own family who have battled shoulder issues, I thought it might be helpful to shed some light on this common source of pain. The shoulder provides a large range of motion allowing us to do simple things like reaching the top kitchen shelf and putting on our coats to more high level activities such as pitching a baseball, swinging from the monkey bars or taking a few laps in the pool. This kind of mobility comes at the price of stability, making the shoulder more susceptible to injury.

Some of the most common shoulder problems include impingement, bursitis, tendinopathy/tendinitis of the rotator cuff or bicep, frozen shoulder, dislocation/separation, rotator cuff or labral tear, and arthritis. Searing pain will clearly alert you to one of these injuries, but below are some questions that can help you identify some earlier warning signs:

  • Have you had shoulder pain for more than a few days?

  • Have you developed new discomfort as a result of your fitness related New Year’s Resolution?

  • Can you carry your groceries without pain?

  • Can you reach into the back seat of your car or scratch your back without pain?

  • Do you have difficulty or pain with putting on your coat or shirt?

  • Do you have trouble resting or sleeping because of pain?

  • Has your sports performance declined?

  • Is there swelling or bruising around the joint or arm?

  • Do you have any signs of an infection (fever, redness, etc.)?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you should make it a priority to see your physical therapist. Many shoulder injuries will worsen if left untreated, so time is of the essence. Early intervention can even help you avoid surgery!