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Physical Therapy

The ultimate goal of physical therapy services delivered by Physical Therapist Russell Altman at ProActiveCare is to restore you to your normal, active living, allowing your body to work in harmony and with ease of movement as you go about your days.

We treat patients of all ages and with a wide range of conditions. Each patient is looked at individually, with a complete evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plan put in place specifically for their needs.

If you are suffering from pain and decreased range of motion, we will find out the source of the problem and address not just the obvious concerns but the underlying causes.

Our approach is to focus on all the inter-connections within the body in tandem with the demands on your body in your home life and your work environment.

We understand that our patients are seeking relief from the pain of an injury, illness or surgery, but ultimately what is really needed is a return to a high quality of life.

It is important to realize that even if your pain started at a specific date and time, your body likely had impairments already present that precipitated the pain.

Our role is to identify these primary reasons for your pain and help you to address them effectively so that they will not continue to impact your life.

From your first visit forward, you can expect to receive hands-on treatment sessions combined with a home exercise program to enhance your recovery. The latter may involve only a few exercises at the start, but for your fast and complete recovery, it is vital that you make time to do them.

You will find that physical therapy and rehabilitation delivered at ProActiveCare are courses on a journey that has a finite beginning and end. Each session is important, because it moves you along the road to specific goals with optimum function as your final destination.

Here are the types of physical therapy most commonly used at ProActiveCare in Stirling, NJ.


Manual Physical Therapy – It is often said that a truly skilled physical therapist can make some very impressive gains by using their two best tools: their mind and their hands. In the case of Physical Therapist Russell Altman at ProActiveCare, that is definitely the case and the area in which he is distinguished among his peers. Manual therapy involves a combination of soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, massage techniques, trigger point therapy, and joint mobilization/manipulation to help loosen restrictions in the body.


Balance and proprioceptive training – Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense position, location, orientation and movement. Since this is a very high form of sensation, it is very sensitive to disruption and is often compromised with injury. If balance and proprioception are not restored, greater problems could result in the future. That is because the rest of the body will have to compensate.


Neuromuscular re-education – There are two major components that go into how hard a muscle can contract. One is the input it receives from its innervated nerve, and the other is the amount of muscle it has to work with. Often, a muscle will still be the same size, yet not working to its full potential. From something simple like tapping an underperforming muscle to much more complicated principles involving overflow from connected muscle groups, we find ways to switch your muscles back on.


Therapeutic exercise and activity – Working hand in hand with neuromuscular re-education, therapeutic exercise and activity is another way to increase strength and flexibility. These exercises and activities will be specifically tailored to the weakness that is contributing to your dysfunction and the stiffness which is involved in your pain. Therapeutic exercises and activity can range anywhere from stretching out your calves against a wall, bending down with proper posture, or even squatting with weights.


Core stability training – Recently a greater emphasis has been placed on the muscles that control your trunk and stabilize your spine, and there is an excellent reason for that. If this part of your body cannot maintain stability, the rest of your body will have to compensate, which may result in injury. As Physical Therapist Russell Altman explains to patients, you can’t fire a cannon from a canoe.


Postural Training and Gait Training – The position of our bodies, or posture, can be the single most detrimental task we perform throughout the day if our posture is not using the body’s natural curves and structure correctly. For most of us, walking, sitting, standing and sleeping make up the majority of our day. If we are not doing these activities correctly, there is a certain amount of wear and tear that will accumulate over time. Being able to attain and maintain a neutral position for your body, along with having an ergonomic set-up at work and home that is adapted to your specific size and shape, is something that I will help you with to ensure a proper position for healing.


Why you must accompany your physical therapy sessions with a prescribed home program of exercise – Some of the home exercises I will prescribe for you in the beginning may appear very basic, but please realize that just as you need a foundation to build a safe home, you need a foundation to build a well-operating body. After injuries in particular, our bodies may become hyper-sensitive to any and all stimulus, it is important to realize that we may need to decrease activity in some areas in order to allow an increased activity in others. On this journey, think of me as your driver. I will guide you and take you to places you have not been before, but you have to see the sights for yourself. Physical therapy is an active process and we can’t forget that each stop or treatment session has a specific purpose and will bring you closer to your eventual goals, so proper attention is mandatory. The goal at ProActiveCare is not just to make you pain-free, but it is to ensure that at the end of your therapy you are less susceptible to injury in the future and able to perform the tasks you desire. After your discharge, it is imperative that you continue to do the exercises you have been performing as physical therapy to maintain your new-found level of function.