Physical Therapists/PTA

Target Audience: Physical Therapists/PTA’s


Instructor: Laura Podschun PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSCS
Dr. Laura Podschun has been an Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy program at ADU since October, 2014. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology (1986) from the University of Florida, a Master of Physical Therapy degree from Hahnemann University in 1989, and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Arcadia University in 2011. She has over 25 years of experience working as an outpatient orthopedic physical therapist with clinical emphasis on lower extremity biomechanics and movement dysfunction. She is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, a Certified Manual Therapist, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She developed the Florida Hospital Orthopedic Physical Therapy Residency and continues to serve as the Director of the residency program. Dr. Podschun has taught in several areas of physical therapy education, but most enjoys coursework related to orthopedics, clinical decision-making, kinesiology and movement analysis. Research interests include running related injuries, with special focus on the relationship between biomechanics/movement and pathology or injury. Click here for Curriculum Vitae.

Course title: Current Concepts in an Evidence-based Approach to Examination & Treatment of Plantar Foot Pain

Course Description: This is a Live, two-day course, taught by one instructor that is a subject matter expert in the field. Instructor determines the length of time needed to cover material. A combination of lecture time with labs/small group discussion intersperse throughout, so that participants apply and perform techniques, directly repeating what taught in the classroom.

Course conducted in a large conference room at conference resort, with space to seat fifty-classroom style. Class size limited to twenty to give enough space for lab performance.

The Physical Therapist will benefit from this course as it emphasizes the use of an evidenced-based approach to both assessment and treatment of plantar foot dysfunction, with heavy emphasis on how the entire lower quarter musculoskeletal system may contribute to specific foot/ankle dysfunction.

Topics include: biomechanical assessment of the foot/ankle, clinical tests to assist with differential diagnosis, evidence-based interventions, the possible role of orthotics and/or shoe wear modifications as a component of management, shoe wear recommendations based upon clinical examination and a review of the recent updates to existing clinical practice guidelines regarding assessment and treatment of plantar heel pain.

This course also emphasizes hands-on practice/lab activities so that each participant performs a biomechanical screen, low-dye tapping/bracing for plantar heel pain, and develops a shoe wear prescription by the course completion. It is appropriate that there are three lab periods incorporated in the course to accomplish these activities.

Because there are recent updates to existing clinical practice guidelines regarding assessment and treatment of planter heel pain, and because a classroom activity will deal with a similar clinical scenario [case study], it is appropriate that an asynchronous self-study of assigned materials prior to the onsite course is also given.

The PTA will benefit from the understanding of the components and theory behind the evaluation process, and experience in testing techniques as well as treatment methods, which would be determined in the POC designed by the therapist.

Teaching Methods: Lecture, lab activities, discussion/case studies, asynchronous self-study of assigned materials prior to onsite course

Course Outline/Agenda:

Day 1: (3.0 hours):

Foot & Anatomy, Biomechanics and How this may affect gait of walking and running (1 hour)
Demonstration of a Lower Quarter Biomechanical Evaluation with Emphasis on Assessment of Foot/Ankle Structure and Function (1 hour)
Lab: Each participant performs a biomechanical evaluation (1 hour)

Day 2: (4.75 hours):

Common Pathology and Differential Diagnosis of Plantar Foot Pain (30 min)
Evidence-based approaches to the Examination & Treatment of Plantar Pain, with Emphasis on the Clinical Practice Guidelines for Plantar Heel Pain) (1 hour)
Lab: Each participant performs a low-dye tapping technique that may be useful for patients with plantar heel pain (45 minutes)
Shoe Wear and Orthotic Management of Patients with Plantar Foot Pain: Clinical Decision-making and Current Evidence Regarding the Continuum from Motion Control to Minimalist Foot Wear (1 hour)
Lab: Each participant will complete a shoe wear recommendation form based on the earlier biomechanical exam findings (30 min)
Case study with small group discussion (45 min)
Post Test, Self Assessment, and Evaluation (15 min)

​Objectives: Upon completion of this course (module), the participant will be able to:

  • Determine and assess at least three key anatomical structures within the foot that may contribute to lower quarter pathology.
  • Perform a biomechanical examination of the lower quarter and identify intrinsic and extrinsic abnormalities that may contribute to abnormal biomechanics during walking, running or other wieght bearing activities.
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete a shoe wear prescription form.
  • Integrate the relative value of specific clinical tests in differential diagnosis of dysfunction.
  • Articulate the pathogenesis, differential diagnosis and subsequent treatment of plantar foot dysfunction.
  • Execute an evidence-based taping technique to assist in the treatment of patients with plantar heel pain.
  • Integrate evidence-based clinical practice guidelines (CPG’s) for the assessment and treatment of patients with plantar foot dysfunction.

This course will utilize a self-assessment tool, post-test and course evaluation as methods of assessment of learning. A score of at least 70% is required on the post-test to receive credit and the completion certificate.

Materials Needed: Bring a small towel to class. All other materials will be provided in class.
Prerequisites: Asynchronous self-study of assigned materials prior to onsite course. Please read the two articles prior to class attendance: Article 1, Article 2

​Disclosure Statement:
Dr. Podschun does not have any relevant financial relationships with an commercial interests. Signed document on file.

​Reference List:

Redmond AC, Crosbie J, Ouvrier RA. Development and validation of a novel rating system for scoring standing foot posture: The foot posture index. Clinical Biomechanics. 2006;21(1):89-98.
Houck J, Neville C, Chimenti, eds. Foot and ankle: Physical therapy patient management using current evidence. 4th ed. Orthopedic Section of APTA; 2016Current Concepts in Orthopedic Physical Therapy.
Saragiotto BT, Yamato TP, Lopes AD. What do recreational runners think about risk factors for running injuries? A descriptive study of their beliefs and opinions. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 2014;44(10):733-738.
Ryan M, Elashi M, Newsham-West R, Taunton J. Examining injury risk and pain perception in runners using minimalist footwear. British journal of sports medicine. 2014;48(16):1257-1262.
Malisoux L, Chambon N, Delattre N, Gueguen N, Urhausen A, Theisen D. Injury risk in runners using standard or motion control shoes: A randomised controlled trial with participant and assessor blinding. British journal of sports medicine. 2016;50(8):481-487.
Nielsen RO, Buist I, Parner ET, et al. Foot pronation is not associated with increased injury risk in novice runners wearing a neutral shoe: A 1-year prospective cohort study. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE. 2014;48(6):440-447.
Knapik JJ, Trone DW, Tchandja J, Jones BH. Injury-reduction effectiveness of prescribing running shoes on the basis of foot arch height: Summary of military investigations. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 2014;44(10):805-812.
Sankhe A, Shukila G, rathod v, Alagesan J, Manickavasagam I. The effect of calcaneal taping versus low dye taping in treating patients with plantar fasciitis – randomized clinical trial. International Journal of Therapies and Rehabilitation Research. 2016;5(3):41.
Martin RL, Davenport TE, Reischl SF, et al. Heel pain-plantar fasciitis: Revision 2014. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. 2014;44(11):A33.
McPoil TG, et al. Heel pain – plantarfascitis: clinical practice guidelines linked to the international classification of functioning, disability and health from the orthopedic section of the APTA. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008;38(4):A1-A18.

Accreditation Statement:
Physical Therapists: (6 Hours)

ProCert has awarded certification in the amount of 6 Continuing Competence Units (CCUs) to this activity. CCUs are a unit of relative value of an activity based on its evaluation against a rigorous and comprehensive set of standards representing the quality of an activity. The CCU determination is a valuation applying many factors including, but not limited to, duration of the activity. No conclusion should be drawn that CCUs correlate to time (e.g. hours).