Dr. Donna Copertino,


Executive Director and Mentor

Sharing Knowledge and Experience

Understanding the required movement pattern for a task or activity is key to learning how to improve function. Move Better Perform Better teaches manual therapists the fundamental 3 dimensional movement mechanics required for a specific sport or activity. We show where in the body are common areas of soft tissue restriction that can negatively affect the movement mechanics. Detailed anatomy instruction for muscle, joint, fascia, skin and nerve will be given. Observation, palpation and treatment approach will be the primary focus of course time.

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Over the course of 20+ years Dr Donna Copertino has studied and practiced chiropractic, physical therapy, massage therapy, exercise science, biomechanics, functional movement, injury prevention and sports performance.

Patients would come in time and time again saying they have been to the best orthopedists, multiple therapists, chiropractors, trainers and pain management specialists yet they still had the same complaints of pain and feelings of desperation and hopelessness for help. The first question I would always ask them is “When does it hurt?” Or “How can you make it hurt?”.

I ask this very common question when taking a patient’s history but interpret their answers differently than most. Instead of looking to identify the tissue or structure causing the pain I am looking to investigate the reason behind that injury. Yes the meniscus may be torn and yes it may be because they took a hit on the field or wore out their joint from repetitive motion BUT could there be another reason why, a further discovery of dysfunction somewhere else in the body that contributed to the breakdown or lack of ability to protect?

In the example of the knee injury there is a direct correlation to hip and ankle range of motion that contributes to the risk of excessive knee strain.

The knee is primarily a hinge joint meant only to flex and extend with very little ability to rotate or pivot. That extreme range of ability to rotate and pivot comes largely from the hip ball in socket joint and to a lesser degree from the ankle. If a player is running in a straight line down a field and suddenly decides to change direction and cut hard to the left or right it is the foot that plants first on the ground feeding information through the nervous system that something major is about to happen. The foot tells the ankle to hold up and reverse direction which immediately signals the muscles around the knee and hip to firm up and protect. It’s like pulling the reins on a horse to stop short and turn about. Not an easy task unless all players are listening and following directions. In this case if the foot lands properly and the ankle says “Ok foot I’m ready, hey knee you ready?” The knee might respond to the ankle, “Ok buddy I’ve got you! Let me quick tell the hip to get ready for the switch”. But then the hip responds with “ Hold up guys, I am ok to turn left quickly but if you go right I’m feeling a little tight and stuck on the outside and can’t handle the rotation that way!”. If that’s the case and the player decides to cut hard right it’s the knee who is going to suffer. The hip tried to warn but since the joints don’t have minds of their own but rather a higher control center in the brain mistakes happen and the knee ends up trying to take up the slack from the hip not rotating to the right. As we know the knee is mostly a hinge it will not take nicely to this new stress of work. It may handle a small load here and there but over time it will give out under the pressure.

So when a patient comes in who has been through the gamut of tests and therapies and treatments including surgeries and/or injections I owe it to them to investigate every possible contributor to their lack of healing. If we don’t find the root cause to an injury we cannot help prevent future ones.

At Move Better Perform Better we are taking our years of experience working with various injuries and various sports to teach other manual therapists how to look for key areas of restriction in the soft tissue that might be limiting motion. We will not be teaching you how to diagnose or treat a specific condition but rather how to evaluate the body for asymmetries and limitations that can be treated. It is helpful to know the history of that patient or client when performing your soft tissue evaluation as it may give you clues as to which areas of the body might be more tensioned than others based on their movement patterns.

If we know what repetitive motions are required for the sport or activity we can understand what areas of the body may have the most accumulated tension. And if you know the history of injuries that person has had you can then start to investigate more specifically where the injury might have started.

The courses at Move Better Perform Better are designed to educate you on sport specific movement mechanics and instruct you with skills and knowledge of how to prevent injury and improve performance.

For more information about Dr. Donna Copertino, visit