What is Active Release Techniques (ART)?
ART is a manual therapy technique that aims to enhance the musculoskeletal system’s mobility. This technique uses strategic soft tissue pin and stretch movements, massage techniques, and muscle-specific stretches to improve the health and mobility of nerves, fascia, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
What conditions can be managed by ART?
Chiropractors use ART to manage a wide range of conditions, including:
- Tennis elbow
- Chronic knee problems
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shoulder pain
- Shin splints
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic back pain
- Recurrent episodes of disabling headaches
Who may benefit from ART?
ART is exceptionally helpful for people living with chronic pain syndromes It can help patients ranging from the elderly to younger individuals who are actively involved in sport or other recreation. In addition, anyone who has been unable to get optimal pain relief through traditional treatment options may benefit from ART.
How do overuse muscle injuries develop?
Human muscles have a remarkable tendency to respond to stress, overuse of muscles, continuous repetitive motion, or sudden strong impact of force in the wrong direction. In such scenarios, musculoskeletal injury is mainly due to:
- Hypoxic condition, i.e. not getting sufficient oxygen
- Accumulation of several small tears over time (in case of micro trauma)
- An acute major injury, such as collisions, tears, pulls, etc.
These conditions can stimulate the body to produce dense and tough scar tissue within the damaged area. This scar tissue limits the free movement of otherwise mobile elements in a joint cavity, leading to:
- Weakening and shortening of muscles.
- Excessive push/pull or tension on the tendons that may lead to tendinitis.
- Involvement of vascular and nervous elements to cause vascular/nerve entrapment syndrome respectively.
- Limitation of range of motion.
- Loss of muscle or joint strength.
- Trapped nerve, which may lead to feeling of weakness, numbness, and tingling.
How are Active Release Techniques performed?
Each ART session combines examination and treatment. ART providers evaluates muscle and fascia tightness, flexibility, and texture. In addition, chiropractors assess the surrounding structures and components required for properly functioning nerves, ligaments, tendons and fascia (1). Following treatment pain, range of motion and strength may be reassessed.
Treatment via Active Release Techniques (ART) combines various techniques to manage scar tissue, adhesions and fibrous tissues, as well as nerve entrapments. The treatment protocols involve 500 specific protocols that may be applied to patients depending on:
- Individual factors, such as age, co-morbid medical conditions, etc.
- Presentation or symptoms
- Tissue factors, such as the location of an injury or damage.
ART website: http://www.activerelease.com/
To see ART in Action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4RDgHSX5cU