Faculty Advisor(s)

Brian T. Swanson



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Incidence of low back pain (LBP) is as high as 36% among adolescents and even more prevalent in those who play sports. The majority of these cases lack an underlying diagnosis and are classified as non-specific LBP. Previous injury and longer durations of pain consistently emerge as prognostic factors in musculoskeletal pain. This affects movement patterns which then continue to contribute to dysfunction. The Regional Interdependence Theory (RI) views all regions of the body as being musculoskeletally linked, with impairments in remote regions to site of pain often being a cause. The Joint-by-Joint Theory compliments RI by arguing that joints alternate in primary function from stability to mobility and when a joint doesn’t carry out its role, the next joint in the chain will, leading to dysfunction. Despite the multidirectional quality of human movement, measurements in PT examination are often uniplanar and lack the functional complexities involved in daily activities. The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a movement-based diagnostic tool which provides a qualitative standard for movement. The purpose of this case study was to explore the use of the SFMA to guide evaluation and treatment in a patient with chronic LBP and provide an example of its application as a framework for clinicians to use in future evaluation and treatment.

Publication Date



Physical Therapy

Related Materials

The case report paper for this poster can be found here:


Using The Selective Functional Movement Assessment And Regional Interdependence Theory To Guide Treatment Of An Athlete With Back Pain: A Case Report



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