Active Care Rehab

Vitamin D and Performance

Vitamin D and Performance

Vitamin D is known to help strengthen bones in the malnourished and elderly and it has been used to help for a number of symptoms that commonly effect women. But can it help your performance in sports. Vitamin D is part of a anti-inflammatory diet and can help with many different issues from hypertension to hitting a wall during activity. Check out this interesting article from Competitor Mag. 

Active Care Rehab

Squat Mechanics

Squat Mechanics

I wanted to share these videos on proper squat mechanics and how you should squat. Key points are proper ankle motion and hip motion. If you can not properly move through the ankle and hips your squat will suffer, actual your knees will suffer. See my article on posterior hip motion and exercises here. Also, need ankle more ankle motion these exercises can help.

Active Care Rehab

5 Injury Prevention Exercises

5 Injury Prevention Exercises

I wanted to share these 5 injury prevention exercises by real simply. These exercises cover shoulder blade stability, low back strength, core stability and correct movement of the hips and shoulders. For other articles on injury prevention see: Ankle, Low Back, and Desk Worker.

Active Care Rehab

To Barefoot Run or Not

barefoot 1Barefoot running has become popular and does have advantages. But does this mean that you should ditch your shoes and hit the pavement with no protection. To answer these we must look at the pros and cons of barefoot running.

Barefoot running, unlike exercising in shoes, allows your foot muscles to do their jobs. Your intrinsic or deep foot muscles are supposed to help stabilize the foot while allowing them to form to the terrain around you. These muscles are traditionally weak or overused due to today’s footwear. High heels or raised heels can shorten the foot causing the foot muscles to tighten along with the joints. Wearing the wrong shoe, motion control or minimalist when not needed, can weaken the foot muscles.

Barefoot running encourages forefoot striking instead of heel striking. Forefoot striking is a more natural running form and is more efficient, so less energy is used. Any runner, beginning or advanced, understands that running efficiently is very important. Although, forefoot striking is natural, those accustomed to heel striking or rearfoot running experience an increase in Achilles tendon injuries when running barefoot.

Barefoot running leaves your feet open to the terrain. This exposes the runner to higher risk of puncture wounds, infection and other potential injuries. Having a clean field, trail, track or sidewalk is not an easy thing to find. Most running tails contain rocks and other dangerous obstacles that can cause serious injury to an unprotected foot.

Barefoot running depletes the fat pads located in the heels. Studies have shown that running barefoot or in minimalist shoes causes the depletion of the protective fat pads located in the heels. This syndrome is also common in the over weight individual. Decreasing the fat pad can cause irritation to the heel bone and nerves causing pain and symptoms mimicking plantar fasciitis. Heel cups like, Tuli’s Classic Gel Heel Cups, Regular (Under 175lbs), can help if this issue develops.

Barefoot running can be beneficial if done correctly and your foot is prepared. I advise my athletes to start by walking around the house barefoot or in a minimalist shoe and than start walking in a safe area outside. While in the beginning phases of walking barefoot, rehabbing the foot muscle should be a priority. Click here for exercises. Strengthening insoles can  be helpful as well. After walking and rehab, one can transition to light running and work up to 3 miles in barefoot or minimalist.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab

Achilles Tendinitis

AchillesAchilles tendinitis plagues many active individuals (runners to bikers) and the on the go hard worker. In fact, in a military study 10 of the 69 cadets who participated suffered an Achilles overuse injury. The Achilles tendon is placed  under intense strain everyday, with every movement. During running the tendon can be placed under forces seven times greater than body weight. It is no wonder that it is injured so frequently.

This injury is associated with pain in the back of the lower leg from the heel to five inches above. Achilles tendinitis, more appropriately called tendinosis, can occur in the high arched and low arched individual. Most commonly the injury is due to overuse rather than an accident. Chronic tightness in the calf muscles cause increased stress on the tendon. The Achilles begins to tighten and become sore over time and eventually the injury ensues.

Instead of using heel lifts and orthotics, rehabilitative insoles and gentle lengthening of the calf is a better approach. Aggressive stretching can cause increased stress on the tendon and increase the damage to the structure. Relieving trigger points in the muscle bellies with massage or foam rolling followed by gently dynamic, multi-planar stretching appears to be the best protocol for recovery.  If pain is worse in the morning a Active Ankle Dns Dorsal Night Splint Small (men 5-10 Women 5-9 1/2) can be helpful during the early stages of recovery.

If you are having Achilles pain or suffer from Achilles tendinosis a Graston, Active Release Techniques or soft tissue manipulation trained Chiropractor or therapist can be beneficial. Click here to see my rehab exercises for Achilles tendinosis.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab

Active Release and Soft Tissue Injuries

Active Release and Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissues occur in all active individuals. According to Running Times, Active Release is better way to treat these injuries. Whether is plantar fasciitis or muscle tension headaches myofascial release such as Active Release techniques can help solve the issue.  Check out my article on Active Release here.

Manual Therapy

Reoccuring Muscle Injury?

Everyone deals with an injury at some point throughout life. Most will occur when adding a new activity to their routine (shoveling snow in the winter), doing something they should not (thinking they are 18 again), or trying to go to heavy to fast. These injuries will heal with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation,  or with a few visits to their chiropractor.

What about the injuries that just seem to always come back, the ones that never completely go away? What causes reoccurring muscle strains or pulls? Why do we seem to always pull the same hamstring or strain the same shoulder? To answer this we need to look at how Active Release Techniques (ART) explains muscle injuries.


When injuries occur the body lays down scar tissue to patch the site of injury. If enough time and care is given to the site than the body will replace this scar tissue with normal, fully functioning muscle tissue. If we continue to stretch, work, use or even eat inflammatory foods the scar tissue will thicken causing the muscles to become shorter and weaker since they can not contract as they should.

You can think of your muscles like roads. When a hole or divot occurs in a road, the city sends out a crew to patch it up. If it is aloud to dry and become part of the road than the road becomes smooth again. If more and more cars drive over the patch the more likely the patch will change shape and need more asphalt to fill the divot. Our muscles work in a similar way.thDHPAWTFS

When our muscles become short and weak tendons become stressed and tendinitis can set in. Range of motion of joints become decreased, strength is lost, and pain can increase and even occur in others areas. The cycle continues over and over, causing reoccurring chronic injuries.

How do we stop the cycle?

Myofascial release techniques like Active Release and Graston. These techniques help heal the tendons and muscles in pain and help eliminate the scar tissue that has developed causing the pain. So, if you have a recurring injury or next time you just pull a muscle find an ART or Graston specialist in your area and scrap the scar tissue before it really becomes a problem.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand

Active Care Rehab

Squats, Not Kegels for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

images6X49OM13Most pregnant women have probably been told they need to strengthen their pelvic floor and do their kegel exercises. Today I would like to share an article that shines a new thought on this concept. The author suggests that preforming a deep squat will actually lengthen and help women become aware of how to actually use their pelvic floor.

Stop Doing Kegels: Real Pelvic Floor Advice For Women (and Men)

It is important for all women (pregnant or not) and men to address the pelvic floor if pelvic pain is present. For more info on pregnancy related pain and treatment see my article and exercises.