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Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Cliffwood, NJ

Are you experiencing knee pain symptoms such as popping, clicking, bone-on-bone grinding, achiness, or sharp stabs? You're not alone in this journey. Knee pain affects nearly 25% of adults in the United States, causing discomfort, swelling, and chronic pain that can hinder everyday activities like childcare, walking, and exercise. Shockingly, recent statistics from The American Academy of Family Physicians indicate a 65% increase in diagnosed knee pain cases.

In a world where invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers are often the default solutions, it's crucial to explore the effective non-invasive options that are available. These alternative treatments provide relief without the associated risks of surgery.

Today, many doctors still recommend invasive surgeries and prescription painkillers rather than exploring non-invasive options. While those treatments are needed in some circumstances, there are alternative treatments available that can help you overcome knee pain without needing to go under the knife.

NJ Sports Spine and Wellness' advanced knee pain treatment in Cliffwood, NJ gives men and women suffering from knee pain hope. Instead of relying on surgery, our team of doctors and physical therapists use non-invasive, highly effective treatments to help heal prevalent conditions such as:

Service Areas

Arthritis

Soft tissue injury

ACL tears

MCL tears

Patella dislocation

Misalignment of the kneecap

Patella tendonitis

Jumper's knee

Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Knee

With the right treatment,

many people can reduce their pain and improve their function, allowing them to return to normal daily activities. Plus, by taking preventative measures and seeking prompt care from our team, it's possible to reduce your risk of developing chronic knee pain and other painful knee conditions. If you've been searching for a non-invasive way to eliminate knee pain and get back to an active life, your journey to recovery starts here.

Let's take a closer look at some of the knee pain treatments available at NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, which all serve as great alternatives to knee replacement surgery.

Physical Therapy:

Optimizing Musculoskeletal Health with Conservative Care

The field of Physical Therapy (PT) aims to rehabilitate individuals who have experienced injury, illness, or disability by restoring their mobility and function. Physical therapists cater to patients of various ages and capabilities, ranging from young athletes to senior citizens, in order to help them surpass physical limitations and improve their standard of living with advanced knee pain treatment in Cliffwood, NJ.

At NJ Sports Spine and Wellness, our physical therapy program was founded on a patient-centric philosophy, where physical therapists work closely with patients to get a deep understanding of their goals, preferences, and capabilities. In doing so, they can create a tailor-made treatment strategy to address their unique knee pain with the goal of avoiding a knee replacement. Treatment may involve exercises that are therapeutic in nature and can include:

  • Joint mobilizations
  • Soft tissue mobilization using cupping
  • Graston technique
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of associated muscle groups

Joint Mobilization for Knee Pain

This unique knee pain solution involves physical therapists using skilled manual therapy techniques to help improve your joint range of motion while simultaneously reducing your knee pain.

During joint mobilization, a physical therapist applies targeted pressures or forces to a joint in specific directions to improve its mobility. The intensity of the force applied can vary, and it is adjusted based on the patient's comfort level. Joint mobilization is generally pain-free.

STM

Soft Tissue Mobilization (STM)

Soft Tissue Mobilization is a manual therapy technique that involves stretching and applying deep pressure to rigid muscle tissue. This helps to relax muscle tension and move fluids that are trapped in the tissues that cause pain and inflammation. This effective form of physical therapy is often used as an advanced knee pain treatment in Cliffwood, NJ for treating knee strains, knee sprains, knee pain, and more.

Graston

The Graston Technique

The Graston Technique involves the use of handheld instruments to identify and break up scar tissue through specialized massage. During a Graston Technique session, physical therapists use convex and concave tools for cross-friction massage, which involves rubbing or brushing against the grain of the scar tissue. This process re-introduces small amounts of trauma to the affected area. In some cases, this process temporarily causes inflammation, which can actually boost the amount and rate of blood flow in the knee. This process helps initiate and promote the healing process so you can get back to a normal life.

Massage

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft tissue massage is a less intense form of massage than it's deep-tissue relative. Instead of focusing on slow and firm strokes to reach the deep layers of muscles and tissues, this massage technique uses a variety of pressures, depths, and durations. Soft tissue massage is helpful in alleviating different types of knee aches, pains, and injuries. Soft tissue massages can also help reduce stress, improve circulation, and promote relaxation.

Advanced Mechanics and Technology:

The Future of Knee Pain Therapy

While knee pain is a common symptom that affects millions of Americans every year, no two cases of knee pain are ever exactly alike. Some types of knee injuries require non-traditional solutions. At New Jersey Sports Spine and Wellness, we offer a range of treatments that leverage mechanics and technology to help patients recover from injuries while treating inflammation and pain as well as resolve the root cause of the pain.

AlterAlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill is equipped with NASA Differential Air Pressure (DAP) technology, which is a precise air calibration system that uses the user's actual body weight to enhance rehabilitation and training. By utilizing a pressurized air chamber, the AlterG allows patients and athletes to move without any pain or restrictions.

This advanced knee pain treatment in Cliffwood, NJ uniformly reduces gravitational load and body weight up to 80% in precise 1% increments. The results can be incredible, with patients reporting benefits such as:

  • Restoring and building of knee strength
  • Restored range of motion in the knee
  • Better balance
  • Improved knee function
  • More

What Makes the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill So Effective?

The AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill can monitor various metrics such as speed, gait pattern, stride length, and weight distribution. With real-time feedback and video monitoring, your rehabilitation team can promptly and accurately identify issues and pain points or monitor your progress throughout your knee pain rehabilitation journey.

One of the key benefits of this cutting-edge equipment is that it replicates natural walking and movement patterns without the artificial feel that hydrotherapy or harnesses create. This makes it an excellent choice for faster recovery after knee injuries or surgeries, as it allows for early mobilization while also preserving strength. Furthermore, it is ideal for sports recovery as athletes can use it for physical conditioning maintenance.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Cliffwood, NJ
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Cliffwood, NJ

Low-Level Laser Therapy

Our advanced treatment modalities for knee pain include laser therapy, which harnesses the revolutionary power of light through photobiomodulation (PBM). LiteCureâ„¢ low-level laser therapy is available for acute and chronic types of knee pain and can be hugely beneficial when coupled with physical therapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic care, and sports recovery care.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

PBM is a medical treatment that harnesses the power of light to stimulate the body's natural healing abilities. The photons from the light penetrate deep into the tissue and interact with mitochondria, which results in a boost in energy production. This interaction sets off a biological chain reaction that increases cellular metabolism. Utilizing low-level light therapy has been shown to:

  • Alleviate knee pain
  • Speed up tissue healing
  • Promote overall health and wellness
  • Expedite knee pain injury recovery
Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Cliffwood, NJ

Exclusive Access to

Pain Management Professionals

At NJ Sports Spine & Wellness, we know that every patient requires a personalized approach to chronic knee pain and condition management. Sometimes, our patients need access to pain management professionals, who can offer relief in conjunction with physical therapy and other solutions like low-level laser therapy.

Two of the most common services we offer for pain management includes acupuncture which can assist in avoiding knee replacement surgery.

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Cliffwood, NJ

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a common treatment for knee pain that involves inserting thin needles into specific points in your knee. This ancient Chinese medicine has gained popularity in Western culture due to its effectiveness in treating various conditions with minimal side effects.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the nervous system to release various biochemicals, including endorphins and other neurotransmitters. The release of these chemicals helps to reduce inflammation, decrease pain perception, and improve overall blood circulation.

Multiple studies have shown that acupuncture can be effective in treating knee pain caused by a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis and injuries related to physical activity like running. Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation, improve muscle function, and decrease pain perception, making it a viable treatment on its own or as an addition to traditional treatment methods like physical therapy.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Cliffwood, NJ

What Happens During Acupuncture Therapy for Knee Pain?

When undergoing acupuncture, a professional acupuncturist will insert thin needles into specific acupoints on the skin. These needles are left in place for roughly 20 to 30 minutes and may be gently stimulated for an enhanced effect. Patients might experience a slight tingle or warmth at the needle insertion site, but overall, acupuncture is considered a painless procedure.

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Cliffwood, NJ

Is Acupuncture Actually Effective for Knee Pain?

Acupuncture has been a trusted and effective treatment option for thousands of years. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture as a legitimate form of healthcare, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even funded research studies to explore its efficacy for a range of medical conditions. To learn more about acupuncture for knee pain, contact NJSSW today.

Avoid Knee Replacements with Advanced Knee Pain Treatment in Cliffwood, NJ

Advanced Knee Pain Treatment Cliffwood, NJ

When it comes to knee pain therapies and treatments, getting a knee replacement should be last on your list. Why put your body through such trauma if you haven't tried other non-invasive treatment options? Whether you're an athlete trying to work through a knee injury or you're over 65 and are dealing with osteoarthritis, NJ Sports Spine and Wellness can help.

It all starts with an introductory consultation at our office in Matawan or Marlboro. During your first visit, we'll talk to you about your knee pain symptoms, the goals you have in mind, and the advanced knee pain treatments available to you at our practice. From there, it's only a matter of time before you get back to a healthy, active lifestyle.

Every day you wait can worsen your knee condition. Contact us today and let our team help get you on the road to recovery and life with painful knees.

Latest News in Cliffwood, NJ

Aberdeen Liquor Store Must Pay $90,000 Fine To The State

ABERDEEN, NJ — The Vingo liquor store on Rt. 35 south in Cliffwood agreed to pay a $90,000 fine to the state to resolve findings from the New Jersey Attorney General that they engaged in unfair trade practices with two of New Jersey's biggest liquor wholesalers.This comes as part of a sweeping two-year investigation done by the state Attorney General and Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).As a result of the investigation, twenty liquor stores across New Jersey agreed to pay the hefty fines, including Joe Canal's...

ABERDEEN, NJ — The Vingo liquor store on Rt. 35 south in Cliffwood agreed to pay a $90,000 fine to the state to resolve findings from the New Jersey Attorney General that they engaged in unfair trade practices with two of New Jersey's biggest liquor wholesalers.

This comes as part of a sweeping two-year investigation done by the state Attorney General and Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

As a result of the investigation, twenty liquor stores across New Jersey agreed to pay the hefty fines, including Joe Canal's in Woodbridge and Lawrenceville, and Vingo locations in Long Branch, at the Eatontown Pathmark plaza, Old Bridge, Aberdeen and Atlantic Highlands.

The ABC said if the liquor stores did not pay the fine, they risked losing their license.

The state's two biggest liquor wholesalers, Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates, will pay the biggest fines, an unprecedented $4 million each. Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates also agreed to change their business practices.

The investigation found that the wholesalers — which together account for approximately 70 percent of all wine and 80 percent of all spirits sold at wholesale in New Jersey — unfairly favored 20 of the state's largest liquor stores, such as Joe Canal's and Vingo's, and put smaller liquor stores at a competitive disadvantage.

They did this by manipulating the retailer incentive program (RIP), granting credit extensions and interest-free loans, and engaging in other discriminatory practices, said the AG.

"Simply put, Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates rigged the market in favor of a handpicked group of powerful retailers, leaving smaller businesses struggling to compete," said Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. "This settlement sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this manipulative and anti-competitive behavior."

The RIPs provide cash rebates payed to retailers by wholesalers for purchasing certain quantities of alcoholic beverages. ABC regulations control the program by making RIPs available to all retailers on a non-discriminatory basis, by keeping the RIP payments to retailers relatively small, and by not allowing wholesalers to substitute RIPs for interest-free loans.

The investigation found that Allied Beverage Group and Fedway Associates were giving chosen retailers a financial advantage by issuing rebates more often and in greater amounts than allowed.

Various Joe Canal's locations in New Jersey, including the Joe Canal's in Woodbridge, will also be paying a $90,000 fine.

Consent order for Long Branch Vingo's: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/EcclipseLLC_Consent-Order.pdf

Consent order for Old Bridge Vingo's: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/Meritage-Wine-Cellars_Consent-Order.pdf

Consent order for Atlantic Highlands Vingo's: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/MM-Wine-Spirits_Consent-Order.pdf

Consent order for Aberdeen/Cliffwood Vingo's: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/Vinvigo-LLC_Consent-Order.pdf

Consent order for Eatontown Vingo's: https://www.nj.gov/oag/newsreleases20/SVGS_Consent-Order.pdf

Aberdeen Seeks To Change Zoning On Controversial Cliffwood Property

Aberdeen Twp. seeks to make a zoning change on a controversial Cliffwood property, where a Jewish group wants to build a yeshiva.|Updated Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 6:03 pm ETABERDEEN, NJ — Aberdeen Township seeks to make a zoning change on a highly controversial piece of land in the Cliffwood section of town. The move has been met with suspicion by some, but Mayor Fred Tagliarini, facing an upcoming election challenge over the issue, insists this could be a solution that makes all Aberdeen residents happy.On W...

Aberdeen Twp. seeks to make a zoning change on a controversial Cliffwood property, where a Jewish group wants to build a yeshiva.

|Updated Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 6:03 pm ET

ABERDEEN, NJ — Aberdeen Township seeks to make a zoning change on a highly controversial piece of land in the Cliffwood section of town. The move has been met with suspicion by some, but Mayor Fred Tagliarini, facing an upcoming election challenge over the issue, insists this could be a solution that makes all Aberdeen residents happy.

On Wednesday night, the Aberdeen Planning Board will be presented with an ordinance that seeks to change the zoning on a six-acre Meizner Street property from its existing R-100 single-family residential to R-65 single-family residential. You can read the ordinance here.

That's a map of the Meizner Street property in question. Part of those six acres are unbuildable wetlands.

If the change is approved, it essentially means a developer can one day build more homes on the parcel. According to Mayor Tagliarini, the owner of the property, Ruach Chaim Inc., has been in talks with a developer to potentially sell that land. He declined to name the developer, or developers.

"We are trying to find a solution here that works for all the residents and everybody in this town," he told Patch on Tuesday.

Find out what's happening in Matawan-Aberdeenwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Ruach Chaim Inc. is an Orthodox Jewish organization that for the past 11 years has operated Yeshiva Gedola out of an old nursing home on Center Street off Rt. 35. They have been model citizens in Aberdeen, Mayor Tagliarini said. The controversy arose last year, when Ruach Chaim said they wanted to expand in Cliffwood and proposed building a campus-like yeshiva, or Jewish religious school, on Meizner Street.

Those who live nearby said the area could not handle the multiple dormitories, rec center and buildings the religious group was planning. They predicted that a thriving yeshiva could attract more than 300 people to the sleepy area, and clog its roads. In fact, Cliffwood resident Michael Canberg rose to prominence in town by leading the yeshiva opposition and is challenging Tagliarini for his seat in the upcoming November mayoral election.

"With Glassworks we are already looking at over-development of the area," said one Cliffwood resident who lives near Meizner Street and did not want to give her name. She is referring to the under-construction rental complex right down Cliffwood Avenue.

"I also have concerns regarding how it will affect our taxes since religious organizations are exempt," she added. "The way that Lakewood has been handled, in terms of irresponsibility on behalf of zoning laws, has made us all wary."

In Sept. of 2016, Ruach Chaim requested a variance to allow the yeshiva to be built. After much outcry from the community, Ruach Chaim eventually withdrew their application in February, but they still gave the Township eight new dates that they could potentially re-submit it, according to Mayor Tagliarini.

Ruach Chaim has since canceled those dates. But the yeshiva idea is not yet completely off the table.

"Until we get an unconditional withdrawal of the application it could come back," said Tagliarini. "So this application has been postponed indefinitely — unless certain actions take place to make it possible for the applicant to look for a developer to sell this land."

Under its current R-100 zoning, the Meizner Street property can hold single-family residential lots, which must be 100 by 100 feet. If the new R-65 zoning is approved, the residential lots that can be built there can become smaller, with just 65 feet of frontage and unspecified depth. Many property lots in Aberdeen are even smaller than that, at 50 by 50 feet.

"So instead of being able to build 7 or 8 homes, let's say you can build 11, roughly," said Tagliarini. "The land becomes more appealing to a developer."

When told this news on Tuesday, Canberg said he remained deeply skeptical.

"You always could build 6 or 8 homes on there, and now you're telling me the possibility of three more homes is going to turn it into a 'highly profitable' property all of a sudden?" he asked. "I just don't believe it."

And some say Aberdeen is giving everything and getting nothing in return from Ruach Chaim.

"If the developer places a lifetime deed restriction on the property preventing its development for anything other than single-family detached residential, most, if not all, of these objections would cease," said Jeff Sirot, an attorney with the law firm Curcio, Mirzaian, Sirot, which was hired by Canberg. "It is inappropriate to create a new zone for one developer without addressing any of the community's concerns."

The mayor said the religious Jewish group may just stay where they are on Center Street, with some improvements on the building, such as possibly a new roof.

The Aberdeen Township Council already approved the zoning change ordinance last week on first reading. The Planning Board meets tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall and will vote on the ordinance then. It then goes back to the Council at their Aug. 16 meeting for the second and final reading, and potential adoption. Several residents, including Canberg, said they will attend the Wednesday night meeting and voice their concerns about the yeshiva.

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More from Matawan-Aberdeen

Aberdeen Residents Fight Proposed Yeshiva in Cliffwood

The yeshiva owners will seek a variance from the Aberdeen zoning board next Wednesday, Sept. 7.Aberdeen, NJ - Residents in Aberdeen are fighting a yeshiva proposed for Meinzer Street, a quiet, tucked-away area in the Cliffwood section of town, reports the Asbury Park Press. The big blue signs you might have seen that read “Cliffwood Matters! Save Our Town!”...

The yeshiva owners will seek a variance from the Aberdeen zoning board next Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Aberdeen, NJ - Residents in Aberdeen are fighting a yeshiva proposed for Meinzer Street, a quiet, tucked-away area in the Cliffwood section of town, reports the Asbury Park Press. The big blue signs you might have seen that read “Cliffwood Matters! Save Our Town!” reference the yeshiva fight.

The yeshiva owners, Ruach Chaim Inc., will request a variance from the Aberdeen zoning board next Wednesday, Sept. 7, because the land is currently not zoned to allow a private educational academy to operate there.

Those who live on and around Meinzer Street say their main concerns are traffic and density. They say as the yeshiva grows, it could attract more than 300 people to the sleepy area, and the roads aren't equipped to handle that kind of traffic. Cliffwood Avenue Elementary School is two blocks away.

“Essentially, it’s a density issue,” said Cliffwood resident Michael Canberg, who is leading the opposition. “There are concerns for fire safety, traffic safety, evacuation safety. The land is definitely not zoned for that kind of density and not strategically positioned to handle that.”

“My biggest thing is, it’s not about them being Orthodox Jews,” Keirsten Chevalier, a lifelong Cliffwood resident and mother of two, told the APP. “I don’t care who it is. Whoever is trying to build something like that on a little piece of land, I think it’s crazy. When I do dropoff and pickups (at the school), it’s always a mess. Something like this will cause even more traffic.”

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According to the Asbury Park Press, Canberg has filed a formal objection and retained the law firm Curcio Mirzaian Sirot.

The yeshiva would be a four-building Orthodox Jewish academy run by Ruach Chaim Inc. It would consist of a synagogue/educational center/cafeteria, a rec center, a 160-bed student dormitory and a 42-unit married-student apartment building.

Read the original story here.

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More from Matawan-Aberdeen

Aberdeen L.A. Fitness Officially Opens At Old A&P Site

ABERDEEN, NJ — The new L.A. Fitness on Rt. 35 in Aberdeen just opened its doors this week, in the location of what used to be the old A&P supermarket.The L.A. Fitness is located at the intersection of Rt. 35 and Cliffwood Avenue and anchors the newly renovated Aberdeen Plaza.A Jersey Mike’s sub shop, currently under construction, will open there next.The property owners of Aberdeen Plaza, Basser-Kaufman, say they are "confident" they get the rest of the stores rented in the next year.&ldq...

ABERDEEN, NJ — The new L.A. Fitness on Rt. 35 in Aberdeen just opened its doors this week, in the location of what used to be the old A&P supermarket.

The L.A. Fitness is located at the intersection of Rt. 35 and Cliffwood Avenue and anchors the newly renovated Aberdeen Plaza.

A Jersey Mike’s sub shop, currently under construction, will open there next.

The property owners of Aberdeen Plaza, Basser-Kaufman, say they are "confident" they get the rest of the stores rented in the next year.

“We are confident that we will be able to tenant the rest of the space during the calendar year of 2021,” said Basser-Kaufman Principal Marc Kemp.

This is a "signature" L.A. Fitness, meaning it has an indoor swimming pool, free weights and exercise equipment, functional training, group fitness classes, saunas, steam rooms and such options as personal training, towel service and babysitting.

“Occupying a major portion of the shopping center’s former A&P supermarket, the L.A. Fitness Signature Club is the cornerstone of the redevelopment of Aberdeen Plaza into what we anticipate will again be a thriving commercial property,” said Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini. “This beautiful club is a welcome addition to the Rt. 35 corridor and should emerge as a major destination for residents of Aberdeen’s Cliffwood and Cliffwood Beach sections, and other parts of the township, as well as nearby towns like Keyport and Matawan."

Some amenities are temporarily unavailable due to New Jersey’s COVID-19 rules. For COVID safety, the gym will have contact-less check-in, extra space between equipment, additional cleaning and extra hand sanitizing stations.

The new club is open seven days week. For membership and other information, call (732) 231-2409.

In addition to Mayor Tagliarini, Aberdeen was represented at the ribbon-cutting by Deputy Mayor Joseph Martucci, Councilwoman Connie Kelley, Township Manager Bryan Russell, as well as Aberdeen Economic Business Council (EBC) Chairman Carmine Visone and member David Shah.

They were joined by an L.A. Fitness team that included Vice President of Sales Louis Pinto, General Manager Dominick Bacchetta, Weekend General Manager Joseph Chiavetta and Operations Manager Estela Sharp. Also on hand were representatives from Aberdeen Plaza owner Basser-Kaufman, including Principals Steve Kaufman and Marc Kemp, Director of Property Management Paul Reese and Max Kemp.

Captain Kidd, Blackbeard and buried pirate treasure at the Bayshore? Truth vs. tales

Six-minute readAsbury Park PressIt’s a story worthy of Hollywood. Blackbeard, the notorious pirate, brings his hungry crew ashore to round up some livestock. Local farmers, incensed, engage them in a pitched battle and chase off the marauders, who barely escape (but do make off with the goods).Legend has it this incident took place in what is now Middletown and Holmdel the early 1700s. And it’s not the only piece of pirate lore at the Bayshore. Tales of Captain William Kidd sailing into Rarit...

Six-minute read

Asbury Park Press

It’s a story worthy of Hollywood. Blackbeard, the notorious pirate, brings his hungry crew ashore to round up some livestock. Local farmers, incensed, engage them in a pitched battle and chase off the marauders, who barely escape (but do make off with the goods).

Legend has it this incident took place in what is now Middletown and Holmdel the early 1700s. And it’s not the only piece of pirate lore at the Bayshore. Tales of Captain William Kidd sailing into Raritan Bay and leaving his mark from Cliffwood Beach to Shrewsbury abound, so much so that they’ve spawned a litany of Kidd talks, walks and treasure hunts.

“There’s no doubt in my mind Captain Kidd was here,” Matawan historian Kurtis Roinestad said.

Not everyone agrees.

“There’s never really been any proof that those pirates were here,” said Peter VanNortwick, vice president of the Middletown Township Historical Society.

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Like Halloween, a cultural touchstone whose very real roots are shrouded in myth, could there be a kernel of truth at the genesis of Monmouth County’s buccaneer folklore?

Blood money and stolen hogs

An often-cited source for these stories is “The Story of Middletown,” a 1927 book written by Ernest Mandeville, rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Middletown. Among its assertions:

Local historian John Barrows says Mandeville “invents the William Leeds connection out of whole cloth.”

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But if untrue, why would Mandeville malign someone who helped found his church? Barrows believes locals were suspicious of Leeds because he was baptized as an adult, and on a weekday (as opposed to a Sunday) — both highly unusual for the time — less than two years after Kidd was hanged. Was he distancing himself from the notorious pirate? Also, Leeds was powerful and wealthy, and he might have made enemies who passed down an unfavorable oral history.

“The facts that we can piece together these many years later don’t really indicate that Leeds and Kidd ever met or worked together,” said Rick Burton, a Syracuse University professor who researched the subject and gave a presentation on it for the Middletown Historical Society last year.

The forward to Mandeville's book, which mysteriously disappeared from later editions, raises a red flag.

“The writer of this story does not claim originality,” Mandeville wrote. “He does not claim over-diligent research, but he covered as much ground as was possible in the press of time for publication and the limitations of expense imposed upon him.”

Mandeville does credit several historians by name as the resources for his book, but he does not provide a bibliography.

“He is really apologizing for this piece of work, and when you look at it, it’s not hard to understand why,” Barrows said. “It’s near hearsay.”

'It hasn't been entirely dismissed'

If there’s no tangible proof that Kidd set foot on the Bayshore, there are plausible reasons he might have. He lived for a time in New York City, and he would have viewed Raritan Bay as a place to duck into during storms.

“Kidd starts as a privateer and marries a respected socialite from New York City,” Burton said. “There’s reason to believe he could have had a non-criminal reputation and been able to deal with the local townspeople.”

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Of course, that reputation changed after he was hanged in London in 1701.

“Now we swing around and do revisionist history,” Burton said, “and now he’s come here as a pirate.”

It’s factual that Kidd donated heavily to the building of Trinity Church in Manhattan. Perhaps he would have inspired the same action in Middletown?

“Of course it’s legend, but it hasn’t been entirely dismissed,” said the Rev. Michael Way, a priest at Christ Church in Middletown.

A pamphlet published by Christ Church to mark its 300th anniversary casts doubt on Leeds’ association with Kidd, but adds: “A cross which is visible on the wall plaster over the pulpit in the Old Church in Middletown, attributed to the handiwork of Captain Kidd’s sword, lends further romantic, yet unsupported, credence to this local legend.”

Jamie Green, parish historian of Christ Church in Shrewsbury, said Leeds’ donation of 400-plus acres was “crucial” to the growth of the congregation, but local researchers never have found proof of a link to Kidd. Still, visitors regularly ask about it.

Justin Dapolito, a Matawan resident who leads an annual Captain Kidd tour in the Cliffwood Beach section of Aberdeen, makes a good point: Rather than inventing the Kidd-Leeds connection outright, Mandeville might have been drawing on long-established oral history. In an era of intervillage raids and violence, Leeds’ contemporaries would have good reason to risk associating with pirates — or at least to claim they did.

“The story goes into pretty good depth,” Dapolito said. “The town might have used the story as protection. Would you go into a town that has pirate crews who built the church there?”

Roinestad, who chairs Matawan’s Historic Sites Commission, says there are mentions of Kidd in the borough’s archives.

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“Rose Hill Cemetery used to be Fox Hill, one of the highest peaks in the area,” he said. “Captain Kidd used Fox Hill as a reference point when he was in Raritan Bay. It was leveled in the 1800s.”

The Blackbeard story as told by Mandeville has less historical backing. Blackbeard was known have ventured into the Delaware Bay, but is mostly associated with piracy off the coast of the Carolinas and points south.

“A careful look at Blackbeard's known whereabouts provides very limited windows for his having possibly been in this region,” Barrows said.

The lure of buried treasure

Each fall, Roinestad and Dapolito conduct a popular tour of Cliffwood Beach, touching on the neighborhood’s history as a resort town and, farther back, a possible pirates’ cove. It includes a stop at Treasure Lake, so named because of a reputed visit from Kidd (as Roinestad explains, the lake used to be a cove before a hurricane enclosed it).

Dapolito, a professional diver who has salvaged silver coins from an 18th-century shipwreck in the Caribbean, has scoured Bayshore waters but found nothing earlier than the 1800s. The truth is, there is only one recorded instance of a pirate burying treasure, but since that was Kidd (whose loot was left on Gardiners Island, on the east end of Long Island), the allure of buried booty from his travels remains strong. More than 100 people turned out for Dapolito’s tour in 2021, and attendance grows each year.

“We all love a buried treasure story,” Burton said. “All you need is for a pirate ship to have stopped to resupply, and there is always going to be that belief that, ‘Someday I am going to come over a sand dune and the edge of a wooden chest is going to be sticking out.’”

Weird NJ:Hunting for Captain Kidd's buried treasure

Don’t count on it to pay the mortgage. But if you want to dream a little about Captain Kidd dropping anchor at Cliffwood Beach, or one of his henchmen founding a Middletown church, or angry Holmdel farmers chasing Blackbeard and his scallywags off their land, we’ll give the last word to the Rev. Way.

“It’s a legend, which means the details are blurry, but there had to be some truth for the legend to be activated,” he said. “It’s maybe been embellished, but on some level, there may be truth in the connection.”

Jerry Carino is community columnist for the Asbury Park Press, focusing on the Jersey Shore’s interesting people, inspiring stories and pressing issues. Contact him at jcarino@gannettnj.com.

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