Active Release Technique (ART) is a hands-on soft tissue manipulation technique.

It is designed to treat fascial adhesions in muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments. ART is used by chiropractors and sports injury specialists to break up scar tissue and mobilize soft tissue restrictions. Many injuries associated with these areas are the result of repetitive stress; also known as “overuse injuries.”  ART is design to break up adhesions that can build up over time, and undo this repetitive stress on your body. 

Some overuse injuries can be: carpal tunnel, shin splints, piriformis syndrome, runner's knee, golfer's elbow, and tennis elbow just to name a few. ART works very well for running injuries, Crossfit injuries, and many other sports injuries.

What are Fascial Adhesions?

When muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia are damaged due to over use or trauma, the body forms scar tissue to heal itself.  This scar tissue is very similar to when you cut your skin.  While the skin heals and the bleeding stops, what is left behind is misshapen skin.  Muscles, tendons and fascia respond in a similar manor.  These fascial adhesions often feel like thick bands under the skin that can lead to decrease range of motion and decrease in function.  When these adhesions are in close proximity to a nerve, they can result in numbness and tingling.

How does Active Release Help with Adhesions?

ART is a set of complex protocols that are designed to help locate and break up these adhesions.  During the first couple passes of ART the doctor is feeling for tone texture, tenderness, and tightness of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.  Once abnormal tissues are found, pressure is applied and the patient performs specific movements.  These movements, combined with the doctors’ pressure, help release this scar tissue and begin the healing process. 

What is an ART session like? Does it hurt?

Most patients describe ART to me as a “good hurt”.  Throughout the different positions, some areas will be much more tender then others.  These tender areas are often the areas that need focus.  While treatments are not meant to be uncomfortable, some areas may be tender.  Keep in mind, some discomfort is needed to aid in the healing process. 


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