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2-Day Top Down and Bottom Up: A Whole-Body Approach to Lower Extremity Dysfunction and Rehab

Courtney Conley, DC |  Joseph LaVacca, PT, DPT, OCS, CFSC, FMS, FMT-C, FRCms, SFMA
Approx. 12 Hours
Mar 09, 2023
Product Code:
Media Type:
DVD - Also available: Digital Seminar | Live Webinar


While foot and ankle diagnoses are commonly addressed by rehab professionals, might you be overly simplifying your treatment with tunnel vision?

Learn how to move beyond common pitfalls in managing lower extremity dysfunction by avoiding diagnosis driven treatment by shifting to a whole-person approach.

You will quickly discover how the lower extremities function as part of the kinetic chain in which a global assessment approach is essential to identify the origin of dysfunction.

Our promise to you - this training is different than the standard orthopedic skills course. Constant emphasis is applied to function of the whole person through the entire kinetic chain AND neurocognitive contributions are presented. You’ll learn:

  • Simple and effective strategies for the most common diagnoses in both acute and chronic presentations: plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, achilles tendon & posterior tibialis dysfunction, and more!
  • Proven techniques to enhance mobility and stability throughout the kinetic chain
  • How to eliminate foot pain and unnecessary procedures
  • How the pelvis and hips influence foot and ankle mechanics
  • Essential tools including graded exposure and cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to manage complex conditions with ease

Put your new skills into action through multiple case studies that include a detailed look at the assessment, objective findings, treatment approaches, and outcomes.

You will confidently implement programs for return to sport along with how to advise footwear recommendations based on your client’s individual needs. Purchase now for a course that guarantees better outcomes for both you and your patients.


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.

CE Information Coming Soon

Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this non-interactive self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements. 

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. 

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.


Courtney Conley, DC's Profile

Courtney Conley, DC Related seminars and products

Dr. Courtney Conley is a chiropractic physician specializing in foot and gait mechanics. She holds a B.A. in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland and is the owner and operator of Total Health Solutions in Golden, Colorado. She also is the founder of Gait Happens, an online education platform specializing in foot and gait mechanics. Her personal journey of becoming a foot and gait expert began years ago when she attended chiropractic school in Chicago, Illinois. She was privileged to be mentored under some of the top experts in her field.

Now with the desire to share her knowledge with her patients, Dr. Conley dove deeply into educating herself on barefoot function and learning from experts such as Steven Sashen, the CEO of XERO shoes, and Sebastian Bar, the owner of Joe Nimble; the creators of 2 functional footwear companies. She studied more on the mechanics of the foot and its relationship to the entire kinetic chain.

Today, Dr. Conley is on the forefront of educating the public on the benefits of foot health. It is her passion and desire to see people eliminate foot pain and begin moving better, eliminating unnecessary procedures and chronic pain. She is enjoying consulting with clients all over the world as well as teaching her lower extremity course, TOP DOWN, BOTTOM UP, with her best friend and partner, Dr. Joseph LaVacca.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Courtney Conley is the co-owner of Force Couple, LLC., the owner of GaitHappens, and the owner and medical director of Total Health Solutions. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Courtney Conley has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Joseph LaVacca, PT, DPT, OCS, CFSC, FMS, FMT-C, FRCms, SFMA's Profile

Joseph LaVacca, PT, DPT, OCS, CFSC, FMS, FMT-C, FRCms, SFMA Related seminars and products

Joseph LaVacca, PT, DPT, OCS, CFSC, FMS, FMT-C, FRCms, SFMA, is an experienced outpatient orthopedic clinician who graduated from Sacred Heart University with his Bachelor of Exercise Science Degree in 2008, and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2010. He also has certifications in movement screens for both the FMS and SFMA, Functional Strength Coaching, as well as Fascial Movement Taping and Performance Movement Techniques through RockTape.

Dr. LaVacca is an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and has experience in Maitland-Based Manual Treatments, Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, Kinesiology Taping, and movement assessment/performance screening. He is a nationwide speaker and frequently teaches healthcare practitioners about Kinesiology Taping and Movement Assessment Principles.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Joseph LaVacca is the owner and physical therapist of Strength in Motion Physical Therapy. He has employment relationships with Fringe, Inc, RockTape, and Force Couple LLC. Joseph LaVacca receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Joseph LaVacca has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


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  1. Investigate pain from an evolutionary lens and how it promoted learning and survival throughout generations.
  2. Inspect the evolutionary adaptations of the human body that have allowed it to become an effective and efficient mover.
  3. Develop a thorough understanding of ankle and foot anatomy and how it pertains to function and clinical decision making.
  4. Investigate the acute pain process including immediate changes that occur in the body and how behavior is affected.
  5. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the chronic pain process including the longterm changes in the mind and brain and how it affects beliefs and decision making.
  6. Employ assessment strategies to enhance clinical decision making for common lower extremity injuries and dysfunction.
  7. Develop and implement effective treatment strategies for common lower extremity injuries and dysfunction.
  8. Incorporate a bio-psycho-social approach to enhance patient education and form a therapeutic alliance with clients to enhance outcomes in clinic.
  9. Investigate the role of footwear choices and how it can delay or facilitate lower body healing and mechanics.
  10. Differentiate the phases of the gait cycle and utilize specific treatment techniques to target change in each phase.
  11. Organize a full body framework into rehabilitation that incorporates postural, core and upper body exercises into treatment protocols.
  12. Construct and implement a return to walking/running program for your clients.


Evolution of Human Movement
  • The influence of pain in learning and survival and its relevance today
  • Adaptations of the body and how these changes shape movement
  • Approaches of modern medicine
Anatomy & Pathophysiology of Foot/Ankle Dysfunction
  • Foot and ankle anatomy
    • Extrinsic muscles of the foot and their function
    • Intrinsic muscles of the foot and their function
  • The role in differential diagnosis
Before and After Injury
  • Risk factors that lead to common LE injuries and dysfunction
  • A look at the acute pain process
  • Changes in physiology and behavior
Acute vs Chronic Presentations
  • Duration of symptoms and how this impacts the brain and behavior
  • Common assessments and findings in lower extremity pathology
  • Post tibialis
  • Achilles tendonitis/tendinosis
  • Ankle sprain
  • Plantar fasciitis
Analysis of the Gait Cycle
  • How environment and anatomy play a role in walking behavior
  • Movement efficiency
  • Key stages in the gait cycle
  • Effects of sprains, strains, stress and stiffness
  • Importance of foot intrinsic strength
  • Key structures involved
  • FHL, FDB, and their relationship to the pelvic floor
Case Studies: “Building the Tissues”
  • – a detailed look at common presentations, assessment, differential diagnosis, evidence-based treatment, and outcomes
  • Case Study 1: Evaluation and management of plantar fasciitis
    • What it is and what it is not
  • Case Study 2: Evaluation and management of ankle sprains
    • Long term effects of chronic ankle instability
  • Case Study 3: Evaluation and management of posterior tibialis dysfunction
    • How this is different from plantar fasciitis
  • Case Study 4: Evaluation and management of achilles tendon dysfunction
    • Myths of treating tendons
    • Tendon research
Corrective Exercise Strategies
  • Sensory awareness and foot positioning
    • Toe yoga
    • Foot tripod/quadripod
    • Farmer’s carry
    • Pallof press or balance on a wedge
    • Pen touch for big toe abduction
  • Mobility
    • Improving ranges of motion
      • First ray, ankle
  • Stability
    • Isolated exercises
    • Integrated exercises
    • Contributions of hip and core weakness
Case Studies: “Building the Person”
  • Patient care through the bio-psycho-social lens
  • Build effective communication for improved clinical outcomes
  • Incorporate graded exposure and cognitive behavioral therapy into practice
  • Constructing well rounded programs for return to sport, running, and activity
  • Manual therapy techniques to address impaired mechanics
  • Applications of kinesiology taping
Choosing appropriate footwear
  • What is functional/natural footwear
  • Characteristics of proper footwear
  • Shoes and their impact on feet – MSK impact of high heels
  • Orthotics/orthoses – embrace your inner minimalist, less is more
  • Diagnosis-based recommendations

Target Audience

  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapist Assistants
  • Chiropractors
  • Athletic Trainers
  • Strength and Conditioning Specialists
  • Other Rehab and Healthcare Professionals


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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