Active Release Techniques

Active Release Techniques (ART)

Active Release Techniques (ART) is a state-of-the-art soft tissue system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. The soft-tissue component of many injuries can often be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions often have one important thing in common: they can be the 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 can cause 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.

ART has over 500 treatment protocols. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific soft-tissue problems affecting each individual patient.

What is the history of Active Release Techniques?

ART has been developed by Michael Leahy who noticed that his patients’ symptoms often seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. Leahy discovered that these changes to muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded well to a combination of both the practitioner applying a precisely directed tension to the affected tissue while the patient simultaneously lengthened the same tissue.

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