In last week’s blog, we discussed the importance of passive care. In this week’s blog, we are going explain what active care is, and discuss what chiropractors can do to help. 

What is Active Care?

Just to recap, passive care is a form of therapy performed by the doctor and not the patient. In other words, the patient is stationary and is not activating any muscles. 

Active care is the opposite. Active care is a form of therapy where everything is performed by the patient and the doctor is there to assist and support. The patient is actively moving whether they are in a stationary position, or they are physically moving around the facility. In comparison to passive care, active care can be performed in both the acute and chronic phases of pain. 

In last week’s blog, we briefly discussed the danger of starting active care too early because it could interfere with the healing process. Rather than discuss the whole process, let’s move on and say we have completed the passive care phase.

After a few weeks of passive care treatment, the inflammatory process begins to decrease, and the remodeling of new tissue begins. Think of new tissue like a newborn baby. A baby grows and learns to become an intelligent human being based upon its environment. The environment not only affects day to day life, but also influences decisions made in adulthood.

When new tissue is introduced, it needs to grow and strengthen in order to perform the demands of the human body. This is where active care excels over passive care. Passive care focuses on stabilization, whereas active care focuses on muscle reeducation, muscle strength, and nerve stimulation.  

So, when people ask about the importance of passive care, recognize that it is to help teach new tissue to perform the task and achieve the high demands of the human body.

Different Types of Active Care Modalities

Various types of active care modalities are performed in different clinical settings. In this blog, we will focus on chiropractic and physical therapist settings. Below is a list of active modalities routinely performed in a chiropractor’s or physical therapist’s office. We will discuss some different therapies on separate blogs. 

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Active range of motion
  • Strengthening exercises involving resistance bands or light weights
  • Flexibility and stretching exercises
  • Balance and coordination training
  • Functional movement training
  • Core strengthening exercises 
  • Proprioceptive exercises
  • Cardiovascular exercise programs such as walking, cycling, or swimming
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Neuromuscular reeducation 
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Therapeutic exercise classes such as yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi

What Can We Do to Help?

Many chiropractors specialize in therapeutic modalities and sports rehabilitation. These types of chiropractors conduct active range of motion exercises, light resistance training, flexibility and stretching exercises, balance and coordination training, and core strengthening exercises. A lot of these chiropractors may even arrange their facilities like a gym and may even have some cardio equipment. However, they still perform spinal manipulation treatment and passive care modalities.

At our office, we don’t focus much on active care modalities. We may perform some stretches and we highly recommend exercises to keep the spine and core strong, but our office focuses more on using passive modalities to treat patients so that patients function at optimal levels.

For more information or questions about active care treatment, please call us at (724) 547-3377 and view our website at for more content.

Yours In Health,

Larry E. Wilkins, DC

Brian M. Steinert, DC