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Active Release Technique

Often referred to as ART, Active Release Techniques are a series of methods which are meant to alleviate tissue tension by removing fibrosis or adhesions. The latter may form on soft tissue (tendons, muscles, fascia, nerves, as well as ligaments) as a consequence of repetitive use over time and the patient is likely to experience symptoms such as numbness, weakness and aching in the area in question.

Two of the benefits of ART are:

  • restoring full motion of soft tissue
  • releasing release entrapped nerves, vasculature and lymph nodes

Conditions that can be resolved with ART include:

  • back pain
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • headaches
  • knee problems
  • plantar fasciitis
  • sciatica
  • shin splints
  • shoulder pain
  • tennis elbow

Overused muscles are the main reason for these conditions. They can result from limited oxygen (hypoxia), accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma), acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions etc.), which can cause the body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. Muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis and nerves can become trapped as scar tissue builds up. This will eventually result in loss of strength, reduced range of motion and pain. Tingling, numbness and weakness can also develop if a nerve is trapped.

Treatment Description

ART uses the movement of the patient to create tension on scar tissue. The treatment starts with the provider using his or her hands to evaluate the mobility, texture and tightness of the soft tissue. Hand pressure is used to remove or break up the fibrous adhesions and stretching motions are generally in the direction of venous and lymphatic flow. Unlike massage or other myofascial release techniques, ART has over 500 specific protocols that treat affected area of the body. For pain relief and treatments, set an appointment with us today at 760.635.7800.

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