What is Active Release Techniques (ART) for Individuals, Athletes, and Patients?

ART is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue system/movement-based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

How do overuse conditions occur?

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:

•   acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),

•   accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)

•   not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds 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.

What is an ART treatment like?

Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness, and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

How Does Active Release Help the Muscles, Ligaments, and Tendons? 

For a muscle to move and function properly it has to glide and slide past other structures.  This is also true to tendons and ligaments and nerves.  Using active release helps to pin down a muscle, while another muscle has the ability to slide past another.

This movement allows less friction and tension to occur in the body and as a result, you are able to move better, feel better, and get out of pain.

*Information taken from the Active Release Technique website and can be found at www.activerelease.com

For more information on soft tissue release, therapy, and scar tissue read this article.