Active Care Rehab, Manual Therapy

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a therapy that uses an acupuncture/filament needle to pierce the body and cause a positive effect on the underlying muscles, tendon, nerves and ligaments. The needle can enter the muscle and yes penetrate to the bone. How deep the needle is inserted depends on what structures we are looking to treat.

Many patients that experience dry needling feel immediate pain relief and others feel an increase in range of motion or that their joints and muscles just work better. The common questions we get are; it going to hurt and why do those needles help me so much? Dry needling can be somewhat painful but the needles are more surprising than anything. Many patients do not realize the needling has been put in or taken out and after the first therapy session most patients do not complain that is hurts.

The needles do many things in the body. Most important they effect the site that we needling, the surrounding nerves to the spinal cord, and the brain. At the site of needling vasodilation occurs which means the blood vessels open and allow increased blood flow to the area. Increased blood flow helps facilitate healing and repair. At the spinal cord chemicals are released that help block pain and pain signals in the surrounding tissues. Lastly, the brain releases endorphins and endorphins are everyone’s best friend. They decrease pain, cause relaxation and produce a full body calming effect.

So, if you suffer from trigger points or knots in muscles or chronic tightness and pain dry needling can help release the knots and calm down your muscles. When muscles are free to contract and relax than your joints will have more movement and less stiffness. Adding dry needling to chiropractic therapy can  help speed recover and PUT YOUR LIFE BACK IN MOTION!

Active Care Rehab

Holiday Treats

Does your gluten-free or dairy free diet and lifestyle make you miss out on your favorite holiday treats? In my Eastern European decedent family holiday get togethers, Povatica or Croatian Nut Roll Bread is always present. I set out to make a gluten & diary free recipe this year and it turned out pretty good. Try this gluten-free and dairy free recipe!!

Nut filling:

  • 3 ounces ground walnuts w/ 1 once lightly chopped
  • 1/8 cup and 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter/substitute or coconut oil
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste

Wet Dough Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free yogurt or Greek if not sensitive
  • 1 tablespoons butter/substitute or coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup suger
  • 1/2 packet yeast from Bobs Red Mill Pizza Dough Mix

Dry Dough

  • Half packet of Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Dough Mix

Preparing Filling

  1. Grind 3 oz of nuts into saw dust
  2. Place all nuts, milk, sugar, egg, butter and spices in sauce pan
  3. Cook over medium heat until it begins to bubble, stir constantly to not burn
  4. Lower heat and stir for 2-3 minutes
  5. Cool for at least 30 minutes

Preparing Dough

  1. Separate egg whites and yolks. Place one yolk in a sauce pan and the other aside for egg wash
  2. Add milk, yogurt, butter, and sugar to 1 egg yolk in sauce pan
  3. Cook over medium heat and stir until it begins to boil
  4. Remove from heat until lukewarm and add yeast.
  5. Still and let sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Beat egg whites until frothy not stiff
  7. Add Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Dough dry mix
  8. Add wet mixture and mix for 3-4 minutes until sticky ball is formable


  1. Spray/grease surface to roll dough on
  2. Wet hands and roller and roll dough into square/rectangle sheet about 1/4 inch thick
  3. Spread nut mixture over dough leaving 1/2 inch on all sides.
  4. Slowly and gently roll up the dough starting at long end
  5. When finished rolling pinch/seal the seam
  6. Let rise for 60-90 minutes covered with plastic wrap in a warm location


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Transfer roll to silicone baking mat or non-stick sheet
  3. Add 1 tablespoon warm water to left over egg yolk, whisk and brush over roll
  4. Bake for 15 minutes and re-egg wash
  5. Bake for 15-20 more minutes until golden brown
  6. Cut into 1/2 inch to inch strips
Active Care Rehab

Do you have Bunions?

Bunions have become a normal appearance in many chiropractic and manual therapy offices. This has occurred due to shoe and footwear choices and improper ankle mobility. Surgery is the only option to decrease the size of the bunion, but to stop growth and decrease pain soft tissue work and rehabilitation is your best bet. Strengthening the peroneal muscles can help stabilize the big toe joint and ankle mobility exercises can help decrease the rate growth. Here is an easy way to start stabilizing the toe.



  1. Stand facing a wall using your hands to balance yourself.
  2. Spread your feet apart wider than shoulder width.
  3. Flatten your inner foot and raise your heels off the ground.
  4. Only raise the heels, do not come up on the toes.
  5. Repeat 3 sets of 25.


  • This is not a calf exercise, do not perform calf raises.
Active Care Rehab

Knee Pain

Do you have knee pain and do not like to squat? Your problem may not be the knee themselves but who you squat and how you move through the hips. Proper hip posterior/backwards translation can take pressure off the knees and allow you to squat and train your hip and gluts without pain. Try these ball squats and see if your pain while squatting goes away.












  1. Begin by standing feet shoulder width apart just far enough from the wall that the ball is sandwiched between your low back and the wall.
  2. Start your squat by sitting BACK and down.
  3. Go down until your knees reach a 90°, angle being sure that your knees do not extend past your toes.
  5. Return to the standing.
  6. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions 2-3 times every day.



  1. Begin with a band around your knees, standing feet shoulder width apart just far enough from the wall that the ball is sandwiched between your low back and the wall.
  2. Repeat setup above.



  • You should be able to do 3 sets of 10 of the regular ball squats with little to no fatigue before beginning the advanced ball squats.
  • Make sure you are squatting back and down.
Active Care Rehab

VMO Exercises

I have only found one VMO exercise that consistently activates the VMO. Oh, and it does a number of the gluteus as well.

Diagonal Sit Backs








    1. Start with the patient on one knee and heel directly under opposite buttocks. (right knee on the ground with right heel in line with left buttocks)
    2. Now the leg should be at a 45 degree angle, slight hip external rotation.
    3. Instruct the patient to perform a brace & breathe and slow start to sit back onto their heel. Do not have them go into lumbar flexion.
    4. They may not be able to touch their heel.
    5. Return to the starting position and repeat.



  • No flexion or posterior pelvic tilting should be noted.
  • The arms can be raised for balance.
  • This should be felt in the VMO and gluts.