I have been using the Active Release Techniques (ART) for patients for several years now. It is a patented, state of the art soft tissue based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. I have been certified and have incorporated this technique and soft tissue treatment to help my patients who suffer from headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis, knee problems and tennis elbow. These are just a few of the more common conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with Active Release Techniques. I also remind patients that these conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
I am often asked from patients about how “overuse” conditions occur in muscles? All soft tissues and overused muscles change in many ways, but primarily three important ways:
- An accumulation of small tears (micro – trauma)
- Acute conditions ( including pulls, collisions and tears)
- Hypoxia – (muscles not getting enough oxygen)
The above changes can cause your body to produce dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue actually binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As the additional scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker. This tension on the tendons can cause tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped and seriously damaged causing reduced range of motion, pain and loss of strength. The affected areas can also experience tingling, numbness, and weakness.
An ART treatment session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The evaluation determines the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. The treatments are unique protocols, specific to the area, with moves and actions that are unique to ART. This technique and protocol allows me to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient.
Active Release Techniques have been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed early in his career that his patient’s symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. He now teaches and certifies health care providers all over the world to use ART.