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

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

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

Suffering From Shin Splints?

thSuffering From Shin Splints?

If you are suffering from shin splints try this exercise (link above). This will help strengthen your Tibialis Anterior the main muscle on the front of your shin and the muscle responsible for flexing your foot (opposite of pointing your toes). For more info on shin splints see my article here.

Manual Therapy

What High Heels Do To Your Posture

High heels may be pretty or spectacular to some but let’s look at what they do to your posture. First and the most obvious is that they point the toes causing constant contraction of the calves. This places the plantar fascia in a shortened state and causes the feet to become stiff and tight. Contraction of the calves places strain on the knees and weakens the shin muscles, predisposing one to shin splints.

Due to the changes in the foot position and tightening of the calves, the hip flexers and quads have to contract to keep the body’s center of gravity neutral. This pulls the lower back into extension or into anterior pelvic tilt, giving the illusion of full rear end.  The new position of the lower back disrupts breathing, tightens the back muscles and weakens the glute muscles, predisposing one to lower back and hip pain.

With the buttocks pushed back and the pelvis tilted forward, the mid back has to round out for balance. The shoulders begin to round with the mid back and the head shifts forward realigning itself over the body. The neck muscles tighten predisposing one to shoulder and neck pain along with headaches.

All of these changes occur due to wearing high heels. The center of gravity is changed completely stressing not just the spine but many of the joints throughout the body. All of this occurs just because you wanted to wear those pretty little heels.

Counteracting the effects of wearing high heels is not as simple as taking them off. The effects they have on the body cause long term changes in posture and center of gravity. We suggest 5 activities to start the counteracting measures necessary for high heel wear.

1. Self Myofascial Release-Foam rolling or using a ball to release your own plantar fascia, calves, hip flexors, and thoracic spine can help lengthen the muscles and mobilize the joints that are most effected.

2. Activate Weakened Muscles-Glute, core and breathing exercises are essential in reversing the compensating factors that occur with high heel wear.

3. Increase Ankle/Foot Mobility-Your feet need to move to function correctly. Increasing mobility will increase the proper function of your feet.

4. Retrain Center of Gravity-Exercises like squats and hip hinging will help push your center of gravity backwards were it belongs.

5. Stop Wearing High Heels-The most important and most logical way to counteract the negative effects of wearing high heels.

See exercises by clicking here to get started.

Yours in health,

Dr. Justin Hildebrand