Heal Yourself With the Best!

About ActiveCare Physical Therapy®

The Best Physical Therapists in NYC

  • Our therapists are licensed in New York State and active members in the American Physical Therapy Association. We have advanced training in joint mobilization and myofascial release techniques.
  • We are dedicated practitioners with a passion for the profession and a comprehensive, holistic approach to treatment and healing. We treat each patient as an individual and treat the whole person, with a plan of care designed to meet the patient’s set goals for health, functionality and a return to work, tasks and activities. We network with a team of physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists in order to provide guidance to other modalities that may be effective in the patients’ care. We also offer superior Telehealth services for physical therapy.
  • Physical Therapist and owner Dr. Karena Wu PT, DPT, OCS is a graduate of the Program in Physical Therapy at Columbia University and is affiliated with several healthcare organizations in New York City. She is certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Kinesio Taping Practitioner and Pilates Instructor, and uses SpiderTech Taping. She is also a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Graston Technique Specialist and Pilates Instructor. She holds LSVT BIG, FMS and SFMA Level 1 certifications as well. Dr. Wu also specializes in vertigo and temporomandibular joint disorders.
  • ActiveCare is primarily an out-of-network facility. We accept all insurance with out-of-network benefits and file for most major insurance plans. We work with all prospective patients to create workable payment plans regardless of insurance coverage.
  • ActiveCare accepts Medicare, No-Fault and Workers’ Compensation patients depending on schedule availability.
  • ActiveCare’s administrators provide seamless and efficient concierge-style client service to all of our patients. And the whole ActiveCare team makes sure your time with us is a beneficial, productive and enjoyable experience.

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PIX11 & Dr. Wu: Arthritis Awareness Month May 2024

Dr. Karena Wu is the Board Chair of the NYC Arthritis Foundation Local Leadership Board. She joined PIX11 this morning to discuss arthritis during May’s Arthritis Awareness month. Dr. Wu joined anchors Dan Mannarino and Kala Rama to educate the audience on the numbers of people who have arthritis and the multiple types of arthritis listed under this umbrella term.

Arthritis can be local or systemic. Arthritis can also be affected by diet and exercise and Dr. Wu reminded the audience of the inflammatory versus non inflammatory foods that you should consider if you have arthritis. She also discussed different types of exercises and why it was important to do them for arthritis.

The Walk to Cure Arthritis is NYC’s premiere city walk on Saturday, May 18th at 9am in Foley Square. If you would like to participate, please register at We are always looking for volunteers and participants to help raise funds for research, improve the quality of life for those affected by arthritic conditions and to try to find a cure. Please join us this Saturday. Team ActiveCare Physical Therapy has already raised over 30K for this important cause.

If you want to join my team, here is our link:


CBS2 New York Start with Kindness Series: Morning Stretches to Combat Stiffness

Dr. Karena Wu, Physical Therapist joins Cindy Hsu this morning on CBS2 NY to demonstrate how to Start your day with Kindness! CBS2 NY started a quick morning series called Start with Kindness with Cindy Hsu.

This morning, we focused on the first thing in the morning stretches to combat stiffness. Sometimes when it is tough to get out of bed when you’re stiff, you can do 3 exercises to help get going. Dr. Wu gave CBS2 a quick demonstration of an overhead stretch, a crossed body stretch and the open book exercises to get your tissues moving so you can get out of bed feeling nice and mobile. These 3 exercises are quick and easy to do before you start your day! Time to give back to yourself with a simple act of kindness.


Dr. Wu On Inside Edition: Tips on How to Safely Walk Down Stairs

If you’ve got an elderly parent or friend who uses the stairs frequently… stay right there! Physical Therapist Dr. Karena Wu appeared on Inside Edition on CBS with some great tips on how to safely walk down stairs. Dr. Karena Wu also shared some great falling techniques to prevent serious injuries.

To get notified about new video uploads, subscribe to our ActiveCarePhysicalTherapy YouTube channel: @activecarephysicaltherapy

About Dr. Karena Wu

Dr. Karena Wu is a board-certified physical therapist based out of New York. She’s the owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy located at 29th W. 38th St in beautiful midtown Manhattan.

ActiveCarePhysicalTherapy is a fully equipped physical therapy office with an amazing staff. Dr. Karena Wu has appeared on TV multiple times and has worked with celebrities, AVP, Google employees, chefs, bartenders and more.

To learn more about Dr. Karena and her physical therapy office call (212) 777-4374.

Karena on CBS New York: 3 Easy Exercises You Can Do From the Comfort of Your Chair

If you’re reading this while you’re sitting at your desk… stay right there! Physical Therapist, Dr. Karena Wu has 3 easy to do exercises that you can do from the comfort of your chair, with no equipment necessary. Dr. Wu joins Cindy Hsu and John Elliott on CBS New York to demonstrate these 3 exercises. This sequence will work your full body to help improve your posture, provide pain relief, and support sitting at a computer all day long.

Cindy Hsu, John Elliott and Dr. Wu discussed the hazards of sitting at your chair for too long. This segment focused on 3 easy exercises to combat the sedentary position of sitting. Sitting can affect your major organ systems and cause a host of other diseases and conditions from the poor posture that usually accompanies prolonged sitting. Dr. Wu picked 3 movement and stretch based exercises to combat the compression of the spine and the organs when sitting. The anchors CBS News and Stations New York did a great job in performing the exercises with Dr. Wu.

To get your posture assessed from a skilled physical therapist, reach out to ActiveCare Physical Therapy, PC and schedule an evaluation with my team for one of the best comprehensive and manual physical therapy treatments in NYC!

ActiveCare Physical Therapy™
29 West 38th Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 777-4374


Today Show Sleep Series: Tips & Tricks to Decompress Your Spine and Joints Before You Get Out of Bed

Dr. Karena Wu, Physical Therapist and Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy joined the Today Show in March 2024 for the Sleep Series segment. Dr. Wu discussed a few tips and tricks to decompress your spine and joints before you get out of bed. She taught an exercise called traction or lengthening of the neck and showed the anchors how to turn the shoulder blade muscles on your upper back for the upper body area to reduce aches and pains in the neck and shoulders. Dr. Wu described a pelvic tilt to stretch the low back and a glute, or hip stretch to lengthen the hip muscles and reduce compression in the low back spine and hip. Sheinelle Jones, Al Roker and Craig Melvin performed the exercises with Dr. Wu leading the group. These quick exercises can be done before leaving the bed to reduce your pain and stiffness first thing in the morning.

Check out the video below to learn how to do these simple yet effective exercises:


Lupus and Back Pain: Understanding the Connection and Finding Relief

Lupus and Back PainIn this post, we’ll explore the relationship between lupus and back pain, the potential causes, and strategies for managing and finding relief from this challenging symptom. Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease, can affect various parts of the body, including the musculoskeletal system. While lupus primarily targets the skin, joints, and organs, it can also lead to back pain and discomfort.

Understanding Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues and organs. While the exact cause of lupus is still not fully understood, genetics and environmental factors are believed to play a role in its development. Common symptoms of lupus can include joint pain, skin rashes, fatigue, and inflammation of various organs.

Lupus and Back Pain

Back pain in individuals with lupus can occur for several reasons:

1. Inflammation of Joints and Tissues

Lupus-related inflammation can affect the joints and soft tissues of the spine, leading to pain and discomfort.

2. Kidney Involvement

Lupus nephritis, a complication of lupus, can cause lower back pain if the kidneys are affected.

3. Medication Side Effects

Certain medications used to manage lupus, such as corticosteroids, can lead to bone loss and increased susceptibility to back pain.


Back pain in lupus patients can manifest in various ways, including:

  • Dull, aching pain in the lower back.
  • Stiffness and limited mobility.
  • Pain that radiates to other areas of the body.

It’s crucial to distinguish lupus-related pain from other potential causes, such as herniated discs or spinal arthritis. A thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional is essential for an accurate diagnosis.

Managing and Finding Relief

If you’re experiencing back pain as a result of lupus, there are steps you can take to manage the discomfort and improve your quality of life:

1. Medication Adjustment

Consult with your rheumatologist to discuss any medication-related side effects contributing to back pain. They may adjust your treatment plan to minimize these effects.

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can be highly beneficial for lupus patients. Therapists can provide exercises and techniques to improve posture, strengthen the muscles supporting the spine, and increase flexibility.

3. Pain Management

Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications may help alleviate back pain. Your healthcare provider can recommend the most suitable options based on your condition.

4. Lifestyle Modifications

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by incorporating regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress management techniques into your daily routine.

5. Heat and Cold Therapy

Applying heat or cold packs to the affected area can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.

6. Supportive Measures

Using supportive devices like ergonomic chairs and pillows can improve posture and reduce strain on the back.


Back pain is a challenging symptom for individuals, but it can be managed effectively with the right approach. If you’re experiencing lupus-related back pain, it’s essential to work closely with your rheumatologist and consider the benefits of physical therapy. By addressing the underlying causes and adopting appropriate strategies, you can find relief and enjoy an improved quality of life despite living with lupus.

If you have questions or need assistance in managing lupus-related back pain, consider reaching out to a healthcare professional or physical therapist, such as those at ActiveCare Physical Therapy™.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Effective Treatment

Shoulder impingement syndrome is a common source of shoulder pain that can significantly impact your daily activities and quality of life. It occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff and the subacromial bursa become pinched or compressed within the shoulder joint. In this guide, we’ll delve into the causes, symptoms, and effective treatments for shoulder impingement syndrome to help you understand and manage this condition.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome causes symptoms treatment

Understanding Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder impingement syndrome typically develops due to a combination of factors, including:

1. Anatomical Factors

Certain anatomical features, such as a curved or hooked acromion (the bone at the top of the shoulder), can increase the risk of impingement.

2. Overuse or Repetitive Movements

Activities that involve repetitive overhead arm movements, such as throwing, swimming, or painting, can contribute to overuse and irritation of the shoulder tendons.

3. Muscle Weakness or Imbalance

Weak or imbalanced shoulder muscles can alter the normal mechanics of the shoulder joint, leading to impingement.

Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder impingement syndrome can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Pain: Persistent or intermittent pain in the front or side of the shoulder, often worsened by reaching or lifting.
  • Weakness: Reduced strength in the affected shoulder, making certain movements difficult.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty raising the arm fully or reaching behind the back.
  • Popping or Clicking: Audible noises or sensations in the shoulder joint during movement.

Diagnosis and Evaluation

If you experience symptoms of shoulder impingement, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional. They will perform a thorough evaluation, which may include:

  • Physical Examination: Assessing your range of motion, strength, and shoulder stability.
  • Imaging: X-rays, ultrasounds, or MRI scans may be used to visualize the structures within the shoulder joint.
  • Clinical Tests: Specific tests like the Neer test, Hawkins-Kennedy test, or the painful arc test may help diagnose impingement.

Effective Treatment Options

The goal of treatment for shoulder impingement syndrome is to reduce pain, improve shoulder function, and prevent recurrence. Depending on the severity of your condition, treatments may include:

1. Rest and Activity Modification

Avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms and giving the shoulder time to heal is often the first step in treatment.

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the management of shoulder impingement. Therapists can design exercises and stretches to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, improve posture, and restore proper shoulder mechanics.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to reduce pain and inflammation.

4. Corticosteroid Injections

In some cases, corticosteroid injections into the shoulder joint can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.

5. Surgical Intervention

If conservative treatments are ineffective, surgical procedures like subacromial decompression may be considered to create more space within the shoulder joint.

Preventing Recurrence

To prevent recurrence of shoulder impingement, it’s essential to maintain good shoulder health through:

  • Regular Exercise: Incorporating shoulder-strengthening exercises into your routine.
  • Proper Technique: Ensuring proper form and technique when engaging in overhead activities.
  • Ergonomics: Maintaining ergonomic workstations and avoiding prolonged periods of overhead work.
  • Stretching: Regularly stretching the shoulder muscles to maintain flexibility.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Conclusion

Shoulder impingement syndrome can be a painful and limiting condition, but with the right diagnosis and treatment, most individuals can experience significant relief and improved shoulder function.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of shoulder impingement, consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist, such as those at ActiveCare Physical Therapy™, to develop a personalized treatment plan and regain a pain-free, functional shoulder.

Dr. Karena Wu Works the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Season

Association of Volleyball Professionals AVPThe 2024 AVP season is posted on and we are getting ready for another great year for professional beach volleyball! Dr. Karena Wu is the Medical Director for America’s elite professional beach volleyball tournament series, the Association of Volleyball Professionals, or the AVP. Dr. Wu has worked with the AVP since the early 2000’s in New York and New Jersey as a volunteer physical therapist. She became a board member in 2014 and subsequently the AVP Medical Director from 2016 on. Dr. Wu has traveled with the AVP to their tournament stops nationwide to provide the best medical care for the AVP athletes. She oversees the multi-disciplinary medical tent of physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, athletic trainers and acupuncturists that are staffed locally at each stop to ensure a smooth transition of care and the best quality of care from each healthcare provider.

Activecare Physical Therapy ®: PT for Sports & Volleyball Injuries

AVP pro volleyball infuries pt

AVP MBO April & Alix Olympians

Back home in NYC, her team at ActiveCare Physical Therapy works with patients who enjoy sports but most specifically, volleyball, whether it is a pick up game or an organized team. Volleyball injuries can affect the shoulder, neck, low back, hip, knees and ankles. ActiveCare Physical Therapy is a holistic and manual therapy specialty practice that gets athletes back into their game quickly. Our specialized treatments include cupping, Graston Technique, kinesiology tape and the newest, laser therapy to promote cellular healing and return to play faster. Our holistic approach includes the entire kinetic chain which helps to strengthen the body for jumps, serves, spikes and digs. We emphasize proper joint mobilizations and mechanics for the best movement during sports play. We know the sport’s requirements and know what to do to get the muscles and skeletal bones in tip top shape. We will help guide you along to make sure you can recover from any current injuries, prevent future injuries and continue to play indoor or beach volleyball to get that win!

For a look at common orthopedic injuries, please visit our website at Call us now to learn more and to schedule an appointment.

ActiveCare Physical Therapy™
29 West 38th Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 777-4374

Disc Herniations with Leg Pain (Radiculopathy): Understanding, Treatment, and Recovery

Disc Herniations with Leg Pain -RadiculopathyDisc herniations, often accompanied by leg pain known as radiculopathy, can be a debilitating condition that affects your daily life. When a spinal disc bulges or ruptures, it can compress nearby nerves, leading to pain, weakness, and numbness in the legs. In this post, we’ll explore the causes and symptoms of disc herniations with radiculopathy, treatment options, and the path to recovery.

Understanding Disc Herniations and Radiculopathy

A disc herniation occurs when the soft inner core of a spinal disc protrudes through the tough outer layer. This can happen due to:

1. Age-Related Changes

As we age, spinal discs naturally degenerate and become more prone to herniation.

2. Injury or Trauma

An injury or trauma to the spine can cause disc herniations.

3. Repetitive Strain

Repetitive lifting, bending, or twisting motions can contribute to disc herniations.

Radiculopathy, on the other hand, refers to the pain, numbness, and weakness that radiates along the path of a compressed nerve root. When a herniated disc presses against a nerve, it can lead to these symptoms in the legs.

Symptoms of Disc Herniations with Radiculopathy

Common symptoms of disc herniations with radiculopathy include:

  • Sharp or burning leg pain.
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs or feet.
  • Muscle weakness in the legs.
  • Difficulty walking or standing for extended periods.
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (rare, but serious, and requires immediate medical attention).

Treatment Options

Effective treatment for disc herniations with radiculopathy often involves a combination of conservative and, in some cases, surgical approaches:

1. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in reducing pain and improving mobility. Therapists can provide exercises, manual therapy, and techniques to relieve nerve compression and strengthen the back and core muscles.

2. Medications

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants can help manage pain and inflammation.

3. Epidural Steroid Injections

In some cases, corticosteroid injections into the affected area can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation.

4. Surgery

Surgery may be considered if conservative treatments are ineffective, or if there are severe symptoms like loss of bladder or bowel control. Procedures such as discectomy or spinal fusion may be performed to alleviate nerve compression.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovery from disc herniations with radiculopathy may vary depending on the severity of the condition and the chosen treatment approach. Physical therapy is a crucial component of rehabilitation and recovery, helping patients regain strength, flexibility, and function.

1. Pain Management

Physical therapists can employ various pain management techniques to alleviate discomfort and improve mobility.

2. Muscle Strengthening

Specific exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles that support the spine and alleviate pressure on the nerves.

3. Education

Patients receive guidance on proper body mechanics, posture, and lifestyle modifications to prevent future issues.

4. Gradual Return to Activity

Physical therapists work with patients to gradually reintroduce physical activities and daily tasks while monitoring progress.

Disc Herniations with Leg Pain: Conclusion

Disc herniations with leg pain (radiculopathy) can be challenging, but with the right treatment and rehabilitation, many individuals can find relief and regain their quality of life.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of disc herniation or radiculopathy, it’s essential to seek prompt evaluation and treatment from a healthcare professional or physical therapist, such as those at ActiveCare Physical Therapy™ in New York City.

Change Your Body For the Better With a Fit3D Body Scan

fit-3d-body-scan-digital-physical-therapist-nycAre you looking to change your body for the better? How can you track your weight loss? Winter is in full swing and it is a great time to get in shape for the upcoming spring and summer. The Fit3D body scanner helps with trackable weight change and is in heavy use at ActiveCare Physical Therapy. Clients are coming in for their 3 month packages to track their fitness journey for general health and wellness. For those with diabetes and hypertension, weight loss is not about aesthetics but about life or death. Tracking your weight loss is easy through the FIT3D body scanner. The scans are housed in the Fit3D cloud and allow for side by side comparisons. Weight and body composition using a proprietary DXA will calculate lean mass versus fat mass. The body scanner will create a 3 dimensional avatar for comparison every month and can even be used to create custom fit clothing for your new transformation.

Reach out to us today to get started and discover how the Fit3D body scan can help you discover your new self. Visit our website to learn how this 3D scan works:

#fit3dbodyscanner #bodyscan #weightloss #health

Osteoarthritis in the Knees: Understanding, Managing, and Finding Relief

Osteoarthritis in the knees, often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis, is a common joint condition. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones wears down over time. This can result in pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility in the knees. In this post, we’ll delve into the causes, symptoms, and effective management of osteoarthritis in the knees to help you better understand and navigate this condition.

Osteoarthritis in the Knees

Understanding Osteoarthritis in the Knees

Osteoarthritis in the knees typically develops due to a combination of factors, including:

1. Age

The risk of osteoarthritis increases with age, as the wear and tear on the joints accumulate over time.

2. Genetics

Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to osteoarthritis, making them more susceptible to the condition.

3. Joint Injuries

Previous injuries or trauma to the knees, such as ligament tears or fractures, can increase the likelihood of developing osteoarthritis.

4. Obesity

Carrying excess body weight places additional stress on the knees, increasing the risk of osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Osteoarthritis in the Knees

Osteoarthritis in the knees can cause a range of symptoms, including:

  • Pain: Persistent knee pain, often worsened by weight-bearing activities or prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
  • Stiffness: Difficulty in bending or straightening the knees, particularly after periods of inactivity.
  • Swelling: Joint swelling and inflammation, especially after activity.
  • Crepitus: A grating or cracking sensation when moving the knees.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Limited ability to fully extend or flex the knees.

Diagnosis and Evaluation

If you suspect you have osteoarthritis in your knees, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional, typically a rheumatologist or orthopedic specialist. Diagnosis may involve:

  • Medical History: Discussing your symptoms, risk factors, and medical history.
  • Physical Examination: Assessing the range of motion, joint stability, and any signs of inflammation.
  • Imaging: X-rays or MRI scans may be used to visualize the extent of cartilage damage and joint deterioration.

Effective Management and Treatment

While there is no cure for osteoarthritis, several strategies can effectively manage the condition and alleviate its symptoms:

1. Lifestyle Modifications

  • Weight Management: Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on the knees.
  • Low-Impact Exercise: Engaging in activities like swimming, cycling, or walking can help maintain joint mobility and muscle strength.
  • Use of Assistive Devices: Devices such as braces, canes, or shoe inserts can provide support and relieve pressure on the knees.

2. Medications

  • Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain medications like acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help manage pain and inflammation.
  • Prescription Medications: In some cases, stronger medications or injections of corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid may be prescribed for pain relief.

3. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is a crucial component of managing osteoarthritis in the knees. Therapists can design exercises to improve joint flexibility, strengthen muscles, and enhance overall joint function.

4. Surgical Intervention

If conservative treatments are ineffective, surgical procedures such as knee arthroscopy or knee replacement surgery may be considered to repair or replace damaged joint surfaces.

Osteoarthritis in the Knees

Osteoarthritis in the Knees: Conclusion

Osteoarthritis in the knees can be a challenging condition, but with the right approach and management strategies, individuals can lead active and fulfilling lives.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, consult with a healthcare professional or orthopedic specialist, such as those at ActiveCare Physical Therapy™. They can help you develop a personalized treatment plan to manage your condition effectively and improve your knee health.

Contact Information

ActiveCare Physical Therapy™
29 West 38th Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 777-4374

Poor Posture & Low Back Pain

Low back pain affects two-thirds of the population at some point in a person’s life. It is a primary cause of missed work and is the leading cause of disability on a global scale. The low back is an integral part of the foundation of the body. This region is made up of the low back or lumbar spine and the pelvis. The core muscles are in this area and are made up of four muscles: the diaphragm at the top, the pelvic floor at the bottom, the transverse abdominis in the front and the multifidus in the back. Most people do not realize that the core reflects this many muscles and how it needs to work well with the skeletal bones in order for the entire postural chain to be working at its best.

The Impact of Poor Posture

Posture has a major impact in health and wellness. Poor posture can contribute to issues with the cardiac system, the respiratory system, the digestive system, the metabolic system, the psychological system and the musculoskeletal system. It affects everything! Our posture starts from the core and making sure the low back and pelvis are in the correct position is crucial for the entire kinetic chain. Many conditions can be caused by poor posture being a major contributing factor.

Holistic Physical Therapy for Poor Posture

Dr. Karena Wu and her Team at ActiveCare Physical Therapy work holistically using digital feedback and a copyrighted methodology developed by Dr. Wu to demonstrate to the client their posture in space. The FIT3D body scanner is a useful tool to show patients how they look and where they hold their weight. New clients can take advantage of this body scan even if they are not in physical therapy and patients can get regular scans to demonstrate change.

Dr. Wu’s copyrighted methodology in holistic physical therapy has the therapists ‘walking their way to the injured segment’. That means starting distant to the  injury, assessing and treating parts of the kinetic chain and making their way to the injury. The reason for this is that the change in the injury or condition can be faster and have a longer carryover between treatment sessions. We emphasize the core or foundation of the body. The patients are made aware of the other areas of their bodies that might be impacting their symptoms. Dr. Wu trains her team of physical therapists to use this approach to bring about the best results for their patients.

Following is an article written by Dr. Wu for Physiotimes India. As an international healthcare expert, Dr. Wu discusses poor posture globally and offers tips and tricks to help maintain your best upright posture. Please enjoy the article and feel free to share it with anyone you think needs to improve their posture in our modern, sedentary and oftentimes seated world.

The Perils of Poor Posture by Karena Wu

We hope you enjoy this story!

The Today Show: How to Take Care of What Hurts

karena-wu-today-show-jan-9-2024-best-pt-press-nycTo help start the new year off right, Dr. Karena Wu was back on the Today Show to discuss the general principles to remember when something hurts. The holidays and the new years just passed and many people were traveling, stuck in planes or airports and feeling the rush and possible stress of the holidays, family, work and friends. Dr. Wu reminds the audience of the old but still useful acronym PRICE for right after injuries. PRICE stands for: Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate. This general guideline is useful to help avoid further damage when you are injured or wake up with an ache or pain. She then demonstrated some variations of techniques to help areas that hurt. There are many different techniques to utilize when you feel pain and these can be a stretch, a position, an at home tool or a modality. Dr. Wu gives a combination of tips for neck pain, low back pain and the legs. Learn how to take care of what is hurting you here!

Watch the clip here:

Karena on PIX11: Avoiding Snow & Ice Injuries

The next winter storm is barreling down on the Northeast and PIX11 wants to inform their audience about how to safely walk on snow and ice and avoid injuries from shoveling snow. According to the CDC, 1 million Americans are injured every year from slips and falls on snow and ice. Over 11,000 injuries are reported annually to emergency rooms from shoveling snow.

Dr. Karena Wu, Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy joined Hazel Sanchez and Dan Mannarino this morning on the PIX11 plaza to discuss this topic. Dr. Wu reminds everyone to slow down and pay attention when walking in these conditions. She also describes how to walk like a penguin to minimize the risk of slipping and falling on ice: arms out, legs out, and knees soft (think athletic stance) with a shorter, wider step length and a flat foot contact. The main injuries from slips and falls are due to blunt trauma and typically involve the back, head, joints, fractures and soft tissue sprains. The anchors also asked about how to avoid injuries when shoveling snow. Dr. Wu reminds us to keep your core engaged, keep a flat back, use the legs and keep the weight close so you do not overexert yourself. The low back, shoulders and soft tissues are commonly injured when shoveling snow due to the overuse and overexertion.

ActiveCare Physical Therapy treats all orthopedic conditions from overuse, trauma, post surgery, car accidents and work related injuries. Call us at 212.777.4374 or email us at if you would like to schedule with our expert physical therapists. All therapists have been trained under Dr. Karena Wu.

Muscle Imbalances and Upper Cross Syndrome: Causes, Effects, and Solutions

Muscle imbalances are a common issue that can lead to various musculoskeletal problems, including Upper Cross Syndrome. This condition affects the neck, shoulders, and upper back, often causing pain and discomfort. In this post, we’ll explore the causes and effects of muscle imbalances, particularly Upper Cross Syndrome, and provide solutions to help you address and prevent these issues.

Upper Cross Syndrome - muscle imbalances

Understanding Muscle Imbalances

Muscle imbalances occur when certain muscle groups become overactive and tight, while opposing muscle groups become weak and lengthened. These imbalances can result from various factors, including:

1. Poor Posture

Sitting or standing in a slouched or hunched position for extended periods can contribute to muscle imbalances.

2. Repetitive Movements

Performing repetitive tasks or movements, such as working at a computer or carrying heavy loads, can lead to imbalances.

3. Lack of Exercise

A sedentary lifestyle or neglecting specific muscle groups during exercise can result in weakness and imbalances.

4. Injury or Trauma

Previous injuries or trauma can lead to compensatory muscle imbalances as the body adapts to protect the injured area.

Upper Cross Syndrome: Causes and Effects

Upper Cross Syndrome is a specific type of muscle imbalance that primarily affects the upper body. It involves tightness in the muscles of the chest, front of the neck, and upper back, coupled with weakness in the muscles of the neck, upper shoulders, and mid-back. This imbalance can lead to:

  • Forward Head Posture: The head juts forward, placing strain on the neck and upper back.
  • Rounded Shoulders: The shoulders hunch forward, contributing to poor posture.
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain: Muscular tension and strain can result in chronic pain and discomfort.
  • Reduced Range of Motion: Limited mobility in the neck and shoulders.

Solutions for Muscle Imbalances and Upper Cross Syndrome

Addressing and preventing muscle imbalances, particularly Upper Cross Syndrome, involves a multi-faceted approach:

1. Posture Awareness

Pay attention to your posture while sitting, standing, and working. Make a conscious effort to sit up straight and keep your shoulders relaxed.

2. Stretching

Perform regular stretches to lengthen tight muscles, focusing on the chest, neck, and upper back.

3. Strengthening

Engage in exercises that target the weakened muscles, such as rows, chin-ups, and exercises to strengthen the deep neck flexors.

4. Ergonomics

Ensure your workspace is ergonomically designed to support good posture. Adjust your chair, monitor, and keyboard to minimize strain.

5. Physical Therapy

Consider working with a physical therapist who can design a personalized exercise program to address muscle imbalances and improve posture.

6. Lifestyle Modifications

Avoid prolonged periods of sitting or standing without breaks. Incorporate movement into your daily routine.

7. Massage and Myofascial Release

Regular massage therapy or myofascial release techniques can help release muscle tension and reduce tightness.

myofacial - muscle imbalance- pt for Upper Cross Syndrome

Muscle Imbalances and Upper Cross Syndrome: Conclusion

Muscle imbalances, especially Upper Cross Syndrome, can lead to discomfort and reduced quality of life. By implementing the above solutions and maintaining good posture, you can address existing imbalances and prevent future issues.

If you’re experiencing persistent pain or discomfort due to muscle imbalances, consider consulting with a physical therapist or healthcare professional, such as those at ActiveCare Physical Therapy™, to develop a personalized plan for improving your musculoskeletal health.

Contact Information

ActiveCare Physical Therapy™
29 West 38th Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 777-4374


PT for Acute Muscle Spasm: How Immediate Physical Therapy Can Rapidly Reduce Discomfort

Can PT for an acute muscle spasm help? Muscle spasms can strike suddenly and cause intense pain and discomfort. Whether it’s a charley horse in your calf or a painful back spasm, these involuntary muscle contractions can disrupt your daily life. If you experience an acute muscle spasm, seeking immediate physical therapy can be an effective way to alleviate the pain and restore normal muscle function. In this post, we’ll explore the causes of acute muscle spasms, their symptoms, and how starting physical therapy promptly can lead to quick relief.

PT for Acute Muscle Spasm treatment midtown NYC

Understanding Acute Muscle Spasms

Acute muscle spasms, also known as muscle cramps or “charley horses,” occur when a muscle contracts involuntarily and remains in a contracted state. These spasms can be caused by various factors, including:

1. Dehydration

Lack of proper hydration can lead to electrolyte imbalances and muscle cramps.

2. Overexertion

Excessive physical activity or overuse of muscles can trigger spasms.

3. Poor Blood Circulation

Insufficient blood flow to the muscles can result in cramps.

4. Nutritional Deficiencies

Lack of essential minerals like potassium, calcium, or magnesium can contribute to muscle spasms.

5. Nerve Compression

Nerves pinched or compressed due to spinal issues or tight muscles can lead to spasms.

Symptoms of Acute Muscle Spasms

The symptoms of acute muscle spasms can include:

  • Sudden and intense muscle pain.
  • Visible muscle twitching or contracting.
  • Inability to relax the affected muscle.
  • Temporary loss of normal muscle function.

PT for Acute Muscle Spasm New York

Immediate Physical Therapy Intervention

When you experience an acute muscle spasm, it’s crucial to seek immediate physical therapy intervention. Here’s how physical therapy can help:

1. Assessment and Diagnosis

A physical therapist will evaluate your condition to identify the underlying cause of the muscle spasm. This may involve assessing your posture, muscle strength, and joint mobility.

2. Pain Relief Techniques

Physical therapists can employ various pain relief techniques such as heat therapy, ice therapy, or electrical stimulation to alleviate discomfort and relax the affected muscle.

3. Manual Therapy

Hands-on techniques like massage and myofascial release can help release muscle tension and reduce spasms.

4. Stretching and Exercise

Physical therapists will provide specific stretches and exercises to improve muscle flexibility, strength, and coordination, which can prevent future spasms.

5. Education and Prevention

You’ll receive guidance on how to prevent future muscle spasms through proper hydration, nutrition, and ergonomic adjustments.

Benefits of Immediate Physical Therapy

Starting physical therapy immediately after an acute muscle spasm can provide several benefits, including:

  • Rapid pain relief and muscle relaxation.
  • Improved muscle function and mobility.
  • Prevention of recurring spasms.
  • Education on self-management techniques.
  • Enhanced overall well-being.


Acute muscle spasms can be incredibly painful and disruptive, but they don’t have to control your life. Seeking immediate physical therapy intervention can lead to quick relief and help prevent future spasms. If you experience an acute muscle spasm, don’t hesitate to reach out to a physical therapist like those at ActiveCare Physical Therapy™. Their expertise can make a significant difference in your comfort and recovery.

Contact Information

ActiveCare Physical Therapy™
29 West 38th Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 777-4374

All About NYC’s Best Physical Therapist Karena Wu

Karena Wu | Best Physical Therapists NYC 2024Dr. Karena Wu is Owner and Clinical Director of ActiveCare Physical Therapy® in NYC and Mumbai. She is a native of Los Angeles, California and has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of California at Riverside. She has been practicing physical therapy for over 24 years in New York City. Dr. Wu graduated with a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from the Program In Physical Therapy at Columbia University and received her Clinical Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University. She has advanced training in manual therapies, specifically in the Maitland Australian Approach and Myofascial Release. She is a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and a Fellow of the International & American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists. Dr. Wu is a Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Seminars (MAPS) Faculty member and a lecturer at NYC’s Hunter College Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program . She is also a Certified Orthopedic Manual Therapist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Graston Technique Specialist and Pilates Instructor. She holds LSVT BIG, FMS and SFMA Level 1 certifications as well. Dr. Wu is a Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner and was the Director of Education for SpiderTech Kinesiology Tape. Dr. Wu and her team also specialize in vertigo and temporomandibular joint disorders.

Best Physical Therapists NYC | ActiveCare Physical TherapyDr. Wu is a dedicated practitioner who takes a holistic approach to her practice. She has a copyrighted methodology that emphasizes her holistic care philosophy in ‘walking her way toward the injured segment’. This allows for the entire kinetic chain to be addressed when a client comes in for treatment and has demonstrated a faster reduction in pain, increase in range of motion and longer lasting effect, as reported by patients. She trains all of the therapists working in the NY and Mumbai locations with her holistic practice philosophy. She actively collaborates with a team of physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, personal trainers and Pilates instructors and other holistic providers. Her patient population consists of high net worth professionals, international royalty, professional athletes, dancers, celebrity chefs, celebrity Broadway/TV/film stars, and NYPD/FDNY. Dr. Wu actively practices in both clinics and provides house calls.

Dr. Wu is an advocate of the Arthritis Foundation. As an individual with osteoarthritis and as a healthcare provider who works with clients with arthritis, she understands this condition well. She volunteers her time in fundraising and advocacy for this important cause. Dr. Wu is now Chairman of the NYC Arthritis Foundation Local Leadership board.

Dr. Wu is a regular healthcare expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, NY1, PIX11, Fox News, The Doctors and Dr. Oz. She has appeared on Good Morning America and is a regular on The Today Show in NYC. She is the Medical Director for the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), the premier US professional beach volleyball tournament series in America.

Contact Karena today to learn more about our services and schedule an appointment.

ActiveCare Physical Therapy™
29 West 38th Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 777-4374


Jaw Joint Pain: Understanding Bruxism and TMJ Discomfort

Jaw Joint Pain TMJ specialist NYC

Jaw joint pain, medically known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, can have various causes, and one common factor is bruxism, or jaw grinding. Bruxism is a condition where individuals involuntarily clench or grind their teeth, often during sleep. This persistent grinding can lead to discomfort and pain in the TMJ area. In this post, we’ll explore the connection between jaw grinding (bruxism) and TMJ pain, as well as strategies for finding relief and managing this condition.

The Connection Between Bruxism and TMJ Pain

Bruxism and TMJ pain are closely related due to the excessive stress and strain placed on the temporomandibular joints during grinding. Here’s how bruxism can contribute to TMJ discomfort:

1. Overloading the TMJ

The forceful grinding and clenching of teeth exert significant pressure on the TMJ, potentially leading to inflammation and pain.

2. Muscle Tension

Bruxism can cause the muscles surrounding the jaw to become tense and overworked, contributing to TMJ pain.

3. Jaw Misalignment

Chronic bruxism may result in misalignment of the jaw, leading to jaw joint pain and discomfort.

Consequences of Bruxism on TMJ

Persistent bruxism can result in several issues related to the TMJ, including:

1. TMJ Pain

The excessive forces exerted during grinding can lead to inflammation and pain in the temporomandibular joints.

2. Jaw Stiffness

Bruxism can cause the jaw to become stiff and limited in movement, making it difficult to open and close the mouth comfortably.

3. Headaches

Tension in the jaw and surrounding muscles from bruxism may contribute to tension headaches and migraines.

4. Tooth Damage

Chronic grinding can result in tooth wear, fractures, or even tooth loss.

Finding Relief and Managing Bruxism

jaw joint pain grinding TMJ BruxismIf you suspect that bruxism is causing your TMJ pain, there are strategies to find relief and manage this condition:

1. Mouthguards or Splints

Dentists often recommend custom-fitted mouthguards or splints to protect teeth from grinding and alleviate pressure on the TMJ.

2. Stress Reduction

Practicing stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or counseling can help reduce bruxism triggered by stress.

3. Medications

In some cases, muscle relaxants or anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed to manage bruxism.

4. Dental Correction

Dental procedures like dental crowns, bridges, or orthodontic treatments may be necessary to correct tooth damage or jaw misalignment caused by bruxism.

5. Physical Therapy

Physical therapists can provide exercises and techniques to relax jaw muscles and improve jaw joint function.


Jaw grinding, or bruxism, can indeed cause discomfort and pain in the TMJ area. Recognizing the connection between bruxism and TMJ pain is the first step toward finding relief and managing the condition. If you suspect that bruxism is contributing to your TMJ discomfort, consult with a dentist or a healthcare professional who specializes in TMJ disorders to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs.

Contact Information

ActiveCare Physical Therapy™
29 West 38th Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 777-4374

Merriam Webster Dictionary: Karena Wu Quoted

Merriam Webster Dictionary: Karena Wu Quoted

merriam webster logoMerriam-Webster dictionary defines the noun circulation. They gives examples of circulation in a sentence and also pull recent examples of the word’s use on the web. Dr. Karena Wu, published author and regular healthcare expert in physical therapy comments in a story on Verywell Health. Her comment uses circulation as it relates to the use of at-home massagers in their story published on October 23, 2023.

To see the quote, go to this link:, then click on the “See more” link under “Recent Examples on the Web”.

Volleyball Knee Injuries: Causes, Prevention, and Recovery

In this article, we’ll explore the causes of volleyball knee injuries, strategies for prevention, and the steps to recover from such injuries. Volleyball is a dynamic and physically demanding sport that involves rapid movements, jumps, and quick changes in direction. While it’s an exciting game, it also comes with the risk of various injuries, including knee injuries. Knee injuries can be particularly common among volleyball players due to the demands of the sport.

Volleyball Knee Injuries Best PT NYC

Common Causes of Volleyball Knee Injuries

Several factors can contribute to knee injuries in volleyball players, including:

1. Landing Mechanics

Incorrect landing mechanics after a jump can place excessive stress on the knees. Landing with the knees straight or inwards instead of bent can increase the risk of injury.

2. Overuse

Repetitive jumping and running can lead to overuse injuries in the knees, such as patellar tendinitis or iliotibial (IT) band syndrome.

3. Sudden Twists and Turns

Quick changes in direction or unexpected movements on the court can strain the knee ligaments and structures.

4. Contact with Other Players

Collisions or contact with other players, especially at the net, can result in knee injuries.

Preventing Volleyball Knee Injuries

Volleyball sports Injuries of the kneePrevention is crucial when it comes to knee injuries in volleyball. Here are some strategies to reduce the risk:

1. Proper Training and Technique

Work with a qualified coach to ensure that you learn and practice proper jumping, landing, and cutting techniques.

2. Strength and Conditioning

Incorporate strength training exercises into your routine to build leg muscles and improve joint stability.

3. Stretching and Flexibility

Regular stretching and flexibility exercises can help maintain good range of motion and reduce the risk of injuries.

4. Protective Gear

Consider using protective gear like knee pads to provide cushioning and support during play.

5. Rest and Recovery

Allow your body adequate time to recover between games or practices to prevent overuse injuries.

Recovery from Volleyball Knee Injuries

If you’ve sustained a knee injury while playing volleyball, it’s essential to seek appropriate treatment and follow a structured recovery plan. The recovery process may include:

1. Rest

Resting the injured knee is vital to allow the tissues to heal properly.

2. Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the knee. Therapists use various techniques and exercises to facilitate recovery.

3. Pain Management

Pain management techniques, such as ice, elevation, and over-the-counter pain relievers, can help alleviate discomfort.

4. Bracing or Support

In some cases, a knee brace or support may be recommended to stabilize the injured joint during recovery.

5. Gradual Return to Play

Reintroducing volleyball-related activities gradually and under the guidance of a healthcare professional to prevent re-injury.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Knee Injury physical therapy new york NYPhysical therapy plays a significant role in the rehabilitation of volleyball-related knee injuries. A physical therapist can create a tailored recovery plan that may include:

1. Strengthening Exercises

Targeted exercises to rebuild and strengthen the muscles around the knee for added stability.

2. Range of Motion Exercises

Gentle exercises to improve knee flexibility and mobility.

3. Neuromuscular Re-education

Techniques to enhance muscle control and coordination, reducing the risk of future injuries.

4. Manual Therapy

Hands-on techniques to alleviate pain, improve circulation, and enhance tissue healing.

Volleyball Knee Injuries: Conclusion

Best Physical Therapy NYCKnee injuries can be a setback for volleyball players, but with the right prevention strategies and a structured recovery plan, you can return to the court stronger and more resilient. If you’re dealing with a volleyball-related knee injury, consider seeking the expertise of a physical therapist, such as those at ActiveCare Physical Therapy™. Our team can provide specialized care and guidance to help you recover and get back to enjoying the sport you love.

Contact Information

ActiveCare Physical Therapy™
29 West 38th Street, Suite 601
New York, NY 10018
Phone: (212) 777-4374