Dr. Vassar is dedicated to offering the best chiropractic and wellness care possible for Southwest Michigan. He uses a variety of techniques to reduce your symptoms: chiropractic manipulation, Active Release Technique, and rehab/corrective exercises.


At Vassar Chiropractic and Rehabilitation, we use an adjusting style commonly referred to as diversified. Palpation of the spine is performed to find any “restricted” joints.

Subsequent visits may include diversified or motion palpation, with Dr. Vassar feeling the spinal joints move as you turn and bend.

With the malposition of one or more spinal bones found, a manual thrust is applied. The direction, speed, depth and angle that are used is the result of training, practice and a thorough understanding of the musculoskeletal system.

During the thrust there may be a popping noise. This is attributed to gases being released as the joint opens. The effectiveness of the treatment does not hinge on whether the joint pops, however.

Improving motion in restricted segments can help reduce pain and dysfunction and most joints of the body can be adjusted to help restore proper range of motion and function.

Dr. Vassar is the only full body certified ART practitioner in Southwest Michigan.

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways: acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc), accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma), and not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

Any of these issues can cause your body to produce dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue builds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

The treatment consists of applying pressure to the affected area (similar to massage) and helping the muscle go through its full range of motion. This helps break up the scar tissue and restore function and blood flow to the area.

Dr. Vassar uses the treatment aspect of Thompson technique in which individual cushions or “drop pieces” located along our table surface support each area of your spine until the thrust is delivered. Then, each drop piece gives way, reducing the amount of energy needed to move a specific spinal segment.


Dr. Vassar utilizes an activator for treatment. This is a handheld spring-loaded tool that delivers a high speed, low force adjustment.This is especially helpful for patient who prefer this approach or who have trouble tightening up during other types of treatments.

Mckenzie Therapy is a technique that can help diagnose and treat many conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. It utilizes range of motion exercises to reduce local and radicular (radiation into legs, arms, etc) pain/numbness/tingling. Dr. Vassar is then able to prescribe the correct exercise for home care to continue the benefits outside of the office.

The main focus of this treatment is to simulate activities that patients do often. Because of this treatment plans are individualized to meet each patient’s needs.
Functional rehabilitation also includes a variety of exercises in different planes of motion to increase overall flexibility, core strength, balance, and strength and power. In many cases little equipment is used during these exercises. Depending on the situation, patients will also progress through an exercise regimen – steadily increasing the difficulty for better results.

The goal of these exercises is to decrease difficulty of everyday activities while increasing overall musculoskeletal functionality.

Latest news

Iliopsoas Dysfunction and Low Back Pain

The iliopsoas muscle group (iliacus muscle and psoas muscle) is a vitally important muscle complex attaching to the hip and low back…

Dr. Vassar is very personal and professional. I had an evaluation here for a wrist injury, not only did he correctly evaluate and diagnose my pain he recommended several things I could do to alleviate my discomfort. I highly recommend!
Joe J.

I have had some inadequate chiropractor experiences… however… Dr. Vassar turned out to be great… if I ever need re-adjusted, he is my first choice. Definitely recommend going.
Nick N.
Dr. Vassar and his office are excellent! Dr. Vassar took the time to explain everything in detail so I walked away not only having more flexion, but understanding why and what I can do to maintain that range of motion.
Brandi C.
I was in South Haven on vacation… Justin was able to correct my shoulder and gave me a recommendation for a doctor back home who was ALSO in my insurance network. Justin is a very kind and down to earth guy and I would highly recommend him.
Shane B.

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