Here is my gorgeous and strong friend Pauline!  (Don’t you just LOVE her shirt?!?)


On Saturday, September 16, 2017 Pauline came to my office and was really worried about not being able to run her half marathon the next day September 17th. So she came to me for help…NO PRESSURE OR ANYTHING!!!

She was in a time crunch with her training program and “halved” the normal duration so that she could get her mileage in.  Pauline hypothesized that ramping up in mileage too quickly brought on her shin splints.  She stated that simply lifting her feet off of the ground as in a jogging in place motion was painful and was wondering how attempting 13.1 miles would play out the next day.

Luckily, at Rock Health & Wellness, we are advocates of keeping athletes moving!  If at all possible, we stay away from the just rest and stop exercising train of thought.  The up to date research in high level athletic training promotes active mobility, soft tissue mobilization, and muscle balance re-education.

After a thorough examination, Pauline presented with significant trigger points in her gastrocnemius and soleus muscles and ankle evertors (her calf muscles and the muscles on the outside of her leg).  The first phase of her treatment session was to manually open up her muscles with trigger point release, myofascial release, and stretching.  Then, we strengthened her lower leg in the new position.  Next, we opened up her hips with manual therapy and stretching, because if she runs on tight hips, she will start to over use her calves again.  Finally, we reviewed dynamic stretching for her pre-running routine.

With a fresh new set of legs, determination and a BIG HEART that only Pauline has…SHE RAN HER HALF MARATHON TOTALLY PAIN FREE AND TEXTED ME AND SAID “WHAT SHIN SPLINTS?!?!”  I couldn’t be happier for this beautiful soul and am so grateful that she allowed me to share her story with you.  Re-think your current view of physical therapy.  Don’t go to a clinic for a short one on one time with a therapist and head out to a gym unsupervised.  Your time is valuable!  You can heal faster with focal attention on ONLY YOU for one hour.  Be the best version of yourself today!


-Denise Holan, PT, DPT, OCS

Doctor of Physical therapy and Orthopedic Certified Clinical Specialist


Optimal Nutrition for Athletic


Denise Holan, PT, DPT, OCS, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Holistic Health Coach will review the keys to maximizing your body’s potential to exercise at high levels without a dip in energy. She will also discuss key foods to include in order to decrease inflammation in your body and reduce joint and muscle pain. THIS IS A FREE SEMINAR!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 7:30pm

The Juice House, 510 North Avenue, Garwood

An elite athlete at peak action, running up a steep trail in the mountains.


For a long time, I was high on the “cure-alls” of physical therapy. For example, take the “oh so common” knee pain complaint. I was taught in school that if the quadriceps and hip flexor are short and tight—which is common with our lifestyle of sitting for prolonged periods during the day, there is going to be compression on the knee…and therefore knee pain. So as a trained doctor with my white coat on at Advanced Physical Therapy, the key was to find out WHY those muscles are short and tight, correct the origin of the dysfunction, correct posture, correct mechanics, strengthen the core, strengthen the hip rotators and bam…you have yourself a fixed knee. This approach sounds good in theory and quite frankly it works a good majority of the time. However, sometimes it doesn’t. I could never sleep at night when I stumbled on these cases. To solve these cases, I cracked books and took courses and followed the Harvard research regarding foot placement and mechanics and neuro input through the feet. With those “tough” patients, I would attack this angle…and guess what…sometimes this was the missing link to get the client better. However, addressing mechanics may work most times but not EVERY time…so now what? My journey took a sharp turn with some enlightening insights when I experienced my own pain.

In 2006, I had the privilege to have experienced pain…AND I MEAN PAIN. The pain that cripples you and stops you from working on your feet, literally. (During that point I would work 10-11 hour shifts and would be in agony 4-5 hours into the day). Here’s the background: After running my second marathon, I’d consider myself “in shape”. I broke my goal of the 4 hour marathon with a cool 3:54 finish. I lifted. I did yoga. I thought about what I ate and tried to eat “healthfully.” But slowly after the marathon, my pain progressed. I went to the best docs, the best physical therapists, the best chiropractors, and I passionately wanted them to “fix me” and they couldn’t. So finally, I saw a TOP DOC orthopod who had previously done two ACL repairs on my knees (both due to athletic injuries—field hockey and lacrosse) and he noted a meniscal tear…so finally I breathed a sigh of relief. THAT’S IT!!! Finally, there’s something “wrong” with me that can be fixed!! WHAHOO!!! But man…I wish I knew then what I know now. Just because there’s an abnormality on a radiograph…that doesn’t have to be the origin of your pain.

What I really needed was a full on multidimensional analysis of my myofascial patterns, strengths, weaknesses, and diet. And so I ferociously attacked this quest. I have dived into every anatomy and kinesiology book. I have studied countless theories of myofascial release and trigger point release. I have studied movement patterns and common dysfunctional patterns and I have thrown myself into healing myself so ultimately I can heal others. And slowly but surely, I have become pain free. The final piece has definitely been a largely “anti-inflammatory diet.” And I can now literally bring on my own pain or take it away through what I eat. I have gotten to the point where I have broken my own half marathon PRs so I can truly say that right now I’m stronger after two babies and three knee surgeries than I was out of college. It has taken time and dedication and accountability to others but it can be done.

Please don’t give up if you’ve experienced pain like this. You certainly don’t have to see me…but seek help from a skilled professional. Tell them your goals and don’t stop until you’ve achieved them. Your body is designed to heal and get stronger with age if you indulge it with what it needs. Be well my friends and never stop dreaming to be the best version of yourself!

At Rock Healthy & Wellness,  you are our highest priority.  We want to solve YOUR issue.  We WANT to listen to you.  We WANT to problem solve.  We are dying to have you walk home pain free and we will do everything to get you there!

We believe in the art of being fully present during a treatment session and not being distracted with other clients and other tasks.  We want to ensure that every issue that you have is addressed.  We want to make sure that every question is answered.  We want to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with your treatment.

With a variety of modalities, we treat…

  • Back Pain
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Radiating nerve pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Rotator Cuff injuries
  • Bicep tears
  • Pain due to arthritis
  • Hip bursitis
  • Snapping hip
  • Quadricep tears/ pain
  • Runners Knee
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome
  • Ankle Sprains
  • Plantar Fascitis
  • Generalized pain
  • Debility