Active Release Technique (ART):
Active Release Techniques® is a new and highly successful hands-on approach to injuries of muscles, tendons, fascia, nerves and the surrounding soft tissues." Active Release is not massage, physiotherapy, or chiropractic care. While those procedures relieve muscle and motion dysfunction, they do not necessarily address the underlying problems caused by scar tissue formation. 'The art of it all is being able to know where to look for adhesions, how to feel for them and how to use active motion of the body part to break them up," says inventor Mike Leahy, D.C.
The technique is extremely effective on injuries like muscle strains, rotator cuff tendinitis, tennis elbow, achilles tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. When a muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn (strained or sprained) or nerve is damaged, healing occurs in three stages called the inflammatory response: acute inflammation, repair and remodeling. In acute inflammation, redness, swelling, heat and pain occur. This phase lasts approximately 72 hours. After the inflammation recedes, repair begins. The damaged tissues heal with adhesions or scar tissue formation rather than the formation of brand new tissue. Scar tissue is weaker, less elastic, less pliable and more pain sensitive than healthy tissue. These adhesions disrupt the normal muscle function, which in turn affects the biomechanics of the joint complex, and can lead to pain and dysfunction. This makes prompt and proper treatment essential for healing and rehabilitation.
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.
The goal of ART® is to restore optimal texture, motion, and function of the soft tissue and release any entrapped nerves or blood vessels. This is accomplished through the removal of adhesions or fibrosis in the soft tissues via the application of specific protocols. Adhesions can occur as a result of acute injury, repetitive motion, and constant pressure or tension. ART® eliminates the pain and dysfunction associated with these adhesions.