Active Release Technique

Active Release Technique

ART is a patented soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that attempts to address 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 may be helped with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

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 may 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?

ART is 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 try to correct the specific problems that may be affecting each individual patient.

Useful Links:

Drover, Janice M.Forand, Dominique R.Herzog, Walter et al. Influence of Active Release Technique on Quadriceps Inhibition and Strength: A Pilot Study. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics , Volume 27 , Issue 6 , 408 – 413

Robb, Andrew et al. Immediate effect on pain thresholds using active release technique on adductor strains: Pilot study. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies , Volume 15 , Issue 1 , 57 – 62
George, James W. et al. The Effects of Active Release Technique on Hamstring Flexibility: A Pilot Study. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics , Volume 29 , Issue 3 , 224 – 227
George, James W. et al. The effects of active release technique on carpal tunnel patients: A pilot study. J Chir Med.:5 (4) Pg:119-122