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Kinesiotaping for Runners Knee

March 5th, 2018

Here is a little video I made to show kinesiotaping for one of my patients who has runner’s knee. It’s a great tape job for those of us with sloppy slightly arthritic knees without major ligament damage. As with any kinesiotape job, the taping is only as good as the person putting the tape on and you need a correct diagnosis to find the right tape job.

Primarily I am making this video for a specific patient but thought I would share so that I can send people back to this link.

If you click here, you can follow along with your own roll of tape.

Winter Fitness versus Winter Hibernation

February 23rd, 2018

Winter fitness is critical in cold climates. Your heart, lungs and muscles know no season. We all need regular exercise and activity to stay healthy regardless of how cold it is outside.

If you hibernate during the winter, it will have fitness consequences. Not paying attention to winter fitness in your 20’s will be different than in your 60’s. The consequences for cumulative poor health choices snowball as we get older. As with any health habit, consistency is the key to fitness.

In your 20’s and early 30’s, you have an opportunity for building speed and power that will be unlike any time in your life. As we watch the Olympics, we realize the competitors are all young. Not young as in “50 is the new 30” young. As in actual young—25.

When a 30 year old chooses not to participate in winter fitness, they are going to lose their athletic performance but odds are, in a month they will gain it back quickly. Between 20-35 is really the time to pay attention to intervals. Core training to keep your body from becoming injured is also critical. Now is also the time to take care of little injuries and get yourself back in the game. How many of us know 55 year olds who are still blaming that bum knee they injured in high school for their 50 lb weigh gain?

As we reach middle age, between 35-50 you have the opportunity to build your endurance if you pay attention to winter fitness. Consistency becomes much more important as you lose your fitness a lot quicker than when you were young. Those years are the most easy to fall off the bus with raising kids and traveling for work. When you are short on time, make sure to still get it done. If you need to start bike commuting to work to make sure you get exercise, do it. If you have an opportunity to do a workout class at lunch through your company, take advantage of it. Injuries will inevitably limit when you can do. My choice at 35 was continuing to play tennis and be sore all the time or find something without so much stop and start. If this age group takes the winter off, they will lose their entire base or habit.

If you can’t do your full workout, at least do a partial workout each day to keep it top of mind. Instead of watching your kids sports practices, do your own workout.

As you hit the 50-65 year demographic, hopefully you start to find more time for yourself. Now is the time to set your body up for a happy retirement. If you’ve let others rule your calendar, now is the time to recommit. Some of the fittest people I know are in their 50’s and 60’s. Fitness has been a life long habit and priority for them. If it hasn’t been for you, it is never to late to start. With some quality instruction and consistent chiropractic care for the injuries that inevitably pop up, you can become fitter.

How you manage your excuses now will determine how you spend your retirement. Will you still be hiking and biking? Or will you be making excuses for your injury from 30 years ago? As a reminder, manage your joint health NOW. At Active Family Chiropractic, we can help you.

Tingling Numb Fingers

December 13th, 2017

Do you ever wake up with tingling numb fingers? I certainly have had a problem with this at times. Tingling numb fingers are one of the most common complaints in my office. Fingers that are tingling and numb can be cause by multiple different problems.

Diagnosing the Problem
The first step when someone visits my Plymouth chiropractic clinic with tingling numb fingers is taking a detailed history. My questions revolve around investigating which fingers are numb and tingling. Different nerves affect different fingers. Each nerve that supplies your hand takes a distinct path. Your radial, ulnar and median nerves can all be caught in different places. Each nerves will cause different symptoms. A quick google search will provide you with many interesting diagrams detailing the nerve pathways throughout your upper body:

Once someone explains their problem in a detailed way, I can determine the potential problem areas. Nerves can be caught as they run through your spine. Nerves can be entrapped as they run down your arm. They can become entrapped through your cubital or carpal tunnel. If you have tingling in your hand, pay attention to which fingers are tingling and numb. Also, pay attention to where in your arm you feel the symptoms.

Developing a Treatment Plan
After we gather all the information, I can work with my patient to develop a treatment plan. Depending on which nerve is entrapped the treatment is different. On some of my patients we need to do deep muscle work to make all the tissues in the arms glide better. Some people need to make changes in how they sleep; perhaps not falling asleep with their elbows bent or their neck scrunched up. Some people need their necks adjusted and others their wrists bones.

The bottom line is that you can’t resolve your tingling numb fingers on your own. If this problem affects you, please see a highly recommended chiropractor to help resolve your problem. I am always happy to help you at my Plymouth chiropractic office if you call me. 763-553-0387

Best Stretches for Downhill Ski Instructors

October 30th, 2017

I was invited to give a presentation on the best stretches for downhill ski instructors last week. As we talked about to the Blizzards instructors; the most loaded muscle group in downhill skiing is the hip flexor group. On top of that, most of us here in Minnesota aren’t making our living on the slopes. It’s a part time hobby. Most money making is happening while sitting at a desk. Prolonged sitting causes chronically shortened hip flexors.

Chronically shorted and stressed hip flexors cause lower back pain, knee pain and all sorts of other pains.

Here are a couple stretches you can do to stretch your hip flexors.

Full quad and hip flexor stretch

This is me in the picture and I will be the first to admit that the picture does a poor job of representing that your pelvis, shoulders and head should be facing forward. Make the correction on yourself and see how different it feels.

Stretch for the lower quad

Here is another great stretch for downhill ski instructors. It is vital for people with chronic knee pain. If you need a modification, grab on to your pant leg, use a band around your ankle or put your foot on a chair. If you have balance issues, you can also do this one lying on your belly. If you have balance issues you should however work on standing on one leg.

IT Band Stretch

This is the stretch I was demonstrating this weekend on top the circular table. It is a great IT band stretch for people with knee pain and hip pain. IT bands are notoriously hard to stretch so if this one doesn’t work for you, change the angle a little bit and see if you can find your stretch point.

If you want to take these stretches to the next level, here is a little video to follow along with that I put together specifically for hip flexors stretches. It is more related to runners and bikers but really the stretches aren’t much different.

As I stressed in our talk, you want to start the ski season healthy. If you have nagging injuries that you’ve been ignoring or stiffness and soreness that is causing you to feel old before your time, call me. I would love to be your chiropractor and help you feel better. Like you, I want to be still enjoying my sports 20 years from now and taking care of small injuries before they become big injuries is the best way to do that.

Lower Back Pain from Sitting

September 18th, 2017

Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints that chiropractors address. Lower back pain from sitting seems inescapable in our tech driven world. There are however plenty of ways to combat it. Common sense goes a long way in improving your lot and there are a lot of tools that will improve your life and your spinal health.

The first thing you can do is free.  Keep a bottle of water at your desk and drink; a lot. Nature’s call will force you get up from your desk regularly AND you will stay hydrated. Making sure you get up and take a small walk around the building every hour is a great way to make sure you prevent lower back pain from sitting.

Exercise is also an important tool to combat lower back pain. Strengthening your core keeps your body more stable and resistant to injury. Here is a video that I made with basic core exercises: While it’s clear I will never star in Hollywood, doing these regularly will go a long way in strengthening your body.

If you really want to avoid lower back pain from sitting, the obvious answer is don’t sit. Does that mean I think standing desks are the perfect cure? No. Standing desks come with their own challenges. The key to avoiding lower back pain is varying your position frequently. If you have a standing desk, get a thick mat to stand on and go back and forth between sitting and standing frequently throughout the day.

One of the best things you can do to relieve the damage that comes to your lower back from sitting is to get adjusted by a chiropractor regularly.  A weekly adjustment is the best insurance policy you can buy to combat the long term effects of sitting. It will help your nervous system work properly to fire your muscles in patterns that your nerves are meant to fire and activate. It will also help knock the “fuzz” out that builds within your fascia and winds everything up into muscular patterns that cause compensation and pain over time.

At Active Family Chiropractic, we are always here to help. Conveniently located in Plymouth, we are just a quick phone call away.

Relieving Headache Pain

August 7th, 2017

What causes headache pain?

Patients commonly visit chiropractors for help relieving headache pain caused by tension headaches and migraine headaches.  What is the difference?  Tension headaches start in your neck and refer to your temples, your jaw, what we refer to as the “hat band” (the area of your head a hat band touches). Even tension headaches can pound like crazy and cause excruciating pain. This type of headache respond very well to chiropractic care.

Many people think that because a headache is severe, it must be a migraine.  Not so.  Migraines are special headaches with neurological components, vascular components or both.  People who get migraines can frequently have one without having a headache.  Some get nauseous and vomit, some see weird spots that float in the visual field and some people develop speech problems.  Severe migraines can even mimic strokes. Depending on the type of migraine, what triggers it and how severe it is, I have found true traditional migraines frequently but not always respond to chiropractic care.

Why does chiropractic help relieve headache pain?

Chiropractic help relieve the pain of a headache by gently improving the alignment of the spine and natural curve in the neck. Chiropractic encourages the bones of the spine to move better.  When those two things happen, the nerves that come out of the spine and control your muscles fire differently. Normal muscle tone can then return. If your muscles were spasming before an adjustment, they should start to relax after we are done.  Spasms in muscles refer pain to your head. When that happens, it is called a trigger point.  The trigger point is a knot in your muscles that refers pain to other places. Trigger points can happen all over your body.  Most commonly, tension headache pain is caused by trigger points in the neck, upper back and shoulders.

What do you look for when finding a chiropractor to treat your headache pain?

First, look for someone through a referral or by reading online reviews.  You can get a sense of who the doctor at the clinic is from what patients write.  Second, look for someone with experience.  While everyone is new at some point, leave the care of your neck in the hands of an expert. Third, look for someone who is honest and upfront about fees and who is not promising quick fixes.  Healing takes time.  Focus on finding a clinic who provides wellness chiropractic care. If there is a florescent neon sign in the window that says “auto accidents come here”, you are NOT in the right place.

Is our office Active Family Chiropractic the right place for you?

With nearly 18 years of experience I offer personalized and individualized care based on what you need.  I don’t push my patients into giant, expensive care plans that they don’t want to do.  It’s my feeling that if you like what I do, you will be back.  Our doctor – patient relationships are based on trust and authenticity. After this long in my Plymouth practice, many of the kids I used to adjust have families of their own and bring them too.

You are always welcome to call and talk to me about the problem you are experiencing. If I can help you, I will tell you that on the phone. If I can’t, I will figure out who can.

Neck Exercises to Relieve Neck and Upper Back Pain

June 14th, 2017

I recently made this video for a patient. She was having some pinching in her upper back and shoulder blade area. She’s been adjusted twice this week. The adjustments are slowly improving things her pain. While the time for my Hollywood film career is long past, hopefully the exercises in this video will help her and you. These exercises are designed to support chiropractic care. The exercises will not replace a quality skilled adjustment.

Here is today’s feature film:

If you have any questions on how to relieve your neck pain, or you are looking for a chiropractor, I would love to have you as a patient. You can reach me at 763-553-0387 or email me at

Back Pain from Gardening

May 24th, 2017

This time of year, my every Monday is filled with patients with back pain from gardening and yard work. In Minnesota, where summer is slow to arrive, this is the season for gardening. It’s also the season for back pain. If you’ve been sitting on the couch all winter long waiting for a warm up, now isn’t the time to start doing 12 hours of manual labor a day.

We are all tempted when we look outside just to get ‘er done. If you over do the gardening, I can assure you, you will have back pain. To avoid back pain from gardening, I recommend several simple tips.

1) Break your job out into 30 minute chunks. Then take a break. A 5 hour marathon weekend session is going to hurt.

2) My neighbors will tell you that I have hired nearly every kid in the neighborhood to help me with gardening. Despite what people think about kids; many of them love working, making money and helping people. My eleven year old neighbor took two car fulls of huge rocks and made a border for me last month. He was happy with the $8 an hour I paid him and it only took him four hours. My back didn’t hurt for two weeks like the last time I did something stupid. The best part about it was getting an opportunity to bond with my neighbor kid.

3) Vary your tasks, two hours bent over at the waist pulling tall weeds, is predictably going to be a problem. Change it up. Do some squatting, digging, bending, pulling so that you vary your tasks.

4) When you finish, don’t go flop on the couch in a heap of exhaustion. Take the dog on a short walk. It will help you activate your muscles again and loosen up.

If you follow these tips and remember to stretch afterwards, you will avoid a lot of the back pain from gardening that is common in the spring. I always end with this: if you hurt, call my Plymouth Chiropractic Office. I can help you.

Back Pain from Computer Work

April 26th, 2017

Experiencing back pain from computer work is an all too common complaint. Every day I see patients with back pain due to working on a laptop, tapping away on a keyboard or text neck from near constant device use.

Self Help:
While back pain from computer work isn’t going away anytime soon, its effect on your life can be mitigated. An ergonomics assessment is the number one thing you can do to eliminate pain. Check to see if you are reaching your elbow past 90 degress to get to your keyboard or mouse. If you find that you are leaning forward in your chair towards your screen by the end of the day, that needs to change. Having an adjustable chair and desk is critical to you feeling better. Make sure the arms of the chair are allowing you to rest your arms while working.

Another thing I strongly encourage my patients to do is to take an exercise break in the middle of their day. If fitness is your priority, the best time to do it is in the middle of the day. This will get you out of that seated posture that is hurting your back and neck. If fitness isn’t your priority, you need to examine your priorities. Bodies aren’t designed for constant sitting.

Getting the help you need:

Often to sit up straighter, your muscle activation patterns have to change. To do that, you need good joint function throughout your spine. Your nervous system has to activate your muscles properly so they don’t spasm or go flaccid when your spine needs support.

Chiropractic adjustments help your spine move better so that there is less tension on your nervous system. When that happens, you will experience less fatigue and back pain from computer work. That is because it allows you to sit up with better posture for longer periods of time without fatiguing.

Contact my office today if you would like your ergonomic questions answered. I am always available to answer your questions by phone 763-553-0387

Questions about Acupuncture

February 20th, 2017

I am often asked questions about acupuncture. To get you the best and most accurate answers to your questions about acupuncture, I turned to Ashley Robillard at Firefly Acupuncture. Ashley is an acupuncturist right here in Plymouth and I have seen her myself.

Here is what she had to say about acupuncture:

There are a couple of questions that come up frequently when I tell people I am an acupuncturist. Often times people know that acupuncture is a natural therapy that includes needles. And they typically know somebody who has tried it, but has never met an acupuncturist before. So naturally, they are curious about a few things.

“Oh is that when you stab people with needles!? I hate needles!”

Agh! I do not want people associating a stabbing with what I do! Acupuncture needles are very fine, flexible, sterile and disposable. Each needle is used only one time and barely felt with insertion. Once the needles are inserted, the patient will rest for about 30 minutes and many times are sound asleep when I return to the room.

“I know somebody who had acupuncture for headaches, do you treat headaches?”

Yes! But there is so much more than just treating a headache (or back pain, or stomach pains, or joint pain). Why do you have this pain? What is the underlying cause? I will treat the symptom of the moment to give relief, but I will also ask many questions to get to the root of the problem. Then I will tailor the treatment specifically to you. We will go through your daily routine to notice triggers, look at your diet and find patterns that could be contributing to your pain. I will place needles in specific points that either tonify the deficiencies in your system or reduce the stagnation, or many times both! It is all about balance.

Many people think acupuncture is only about pain relief. But it is so much more than that. It is about bringing your system back into balance. Life is hard and exhausting and many of us do not stop to take care of ourselves, or to just breathe. Yes acupuncture helps with pain, but it also helps create a more restful sleep pattern, it helps balance mood swings and boost metabolism. When all systems in the body are regulated, the pain will decrease significantly.

“Do you like what you do?”

I can’t even explain how happy my job makes me. I absolutely love working one on one with people, hearing their stories and finding a way to make their life better. To see a patient walk out of the office relaxed and pain free when it was a struggle to walk in. To ask about a lifelong symptom and have the patient realize that it is no longer a concern. To have a woman struggling for months or years with fertility tell me she is pregnant. I am so thankful to be part of each journey.

If you have concerns that you would like to address with Ashley, she is right here in Plymouth. She also does acupuncture facials. I’ll let her explain that one to you herself. You can reach her at Ashley Robillard, L.Ac. Firefly Acupuncture 763-300-1399

Attention Chiropractors

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