Active Release Techniques® (commonly known as ART) is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. ART is designed to restore motion, reduce pain, and improve strength to help people return to participating in daily activities and sports. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, and tennis elbow are just a few of the conditions that can be resolved with ART. These conditions 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:
• Acute injuries (pulls, tears, collisions) – Example: A sprained ankle occurring from stepping on uneven ground awkwardly
• Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma) – Example: Low Back Pain resulting from years of lifting heavy objects at work.
• Not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia) – Example: Neck Pain resulting from sitting with poor posture while working at a computer
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 tendinitis, 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. ART can help relieve all of these symptoms and provide lasting results.
What happens during an ART treatment session?
Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses their hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Combining precise and directed tension, with very specific client movements, treats abnormal tissues. During ART, the clinician applies deep tension at the area of tenderness and the client actively moves the tissue from a shortened to a lengthened position through the problem site. This helps to break up the scar tissue and return the affected tissue to a healthy state, enabling improved performance and decreased pain.