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Active vs. Passive Treatments for treatment

In the world of rehab, there are two forms of treatment: active and passive. Passive treatment includes things done TO you (e.g. joint mobilization, acupuncture, dry needling, massage, etc) while active treatments includes things done BY you (e.g. running, walking, motor control exercises, plyometrics, etc). According to popular opinion among physical therapists and medical professionals, the best LONG term approach should be primarily active as it promotes independence, not reliance. For a SHORT term approach, passive treatment can help patients feel empowered to eventually take on an active approach (if, and only if he/she views it solely as a temporary solution). With all of this in mind, the one thing that both passive and active treatments have in common is how they ultimately affect our nervous system.


Different approaches will work for different individuals. My suggestion is to start with passive treatment to facilitate active treatment as the primary form of rehab.


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