Active Release Technique (ART) is a patented, state of the art, soft tissue system, and movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. This treatment is used by the National Football League and for Ironman athletes to treat many of their injuries. 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:
1. Acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc.)
2. Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
3. 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.
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.
What to expect during a treatment of Active Release Technique
ART treatments can produce mild discomfort by producing a stretch in each targeted muscle. Most treatments can take anywhere from one to ten minutes depending on the area being treated and the severity of injury.
What to expect after a treatment of Active Release Technique
It is common to feel sore immediately after receiving ART in the area of the body that was treated. Soreness is normal but does not always occur. It may also take a few hours or the next day before you feel soreness. It is typical for soreness to last 24 to 48 hours. If your soreness continues after this time period, please contact our office.
What should I do after treatment?
It is highly recommended that you increase your water intake for the next 24 hours after treatment to help avoid soreness. Each Active Release Technique treatment is different. Talk to your Chiropractor following treatment to discuss any restrictions on workouts, stretching, heating, or icing.