Active Release Technique (ART)

ART is a patented soft tissue technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves (collectively called soft tissue). Conditions such as headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, sprains/strains, sciatica, shoulder pain (rotator cuff), knee problems, and tendonitis are some of the many conditions that can occur from soft tissue problems.

How do these soft tissue problems occur?
There are three major ways that soft tissue can develop problems. As you will see, not all injuries are due to some major trauma like a car accident, fall, or sporting injury. The majority of soft tissue injuries start off small (usually unrecognizable) and progress into painful conditions.
  • Acute injuries - think of sudden trauma: Injuries such as whiplash, sprained ankle, etc.
  • Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma): Injuries such as plantar fascitis, some tendonitis, etc.
  • Not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia): Injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, some tendonitis, etc.
Micro-trauma and hypoxia start off undetected and progress over time into painful conditions.

What is the common result of these soft tissue problems?
All three causes of soft tissue problems result in scar tissue (adhesions) forming within the tissue and between neighboring tissues (ie. between muscle and nerve as is the case with carpal tunnel syndrome).

What is so bad about scar tissue (adhesions) within the soft tissue?
Scar tissue changes the soft tissue's ability to move freely. Muscles will become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped.

How does ART help?
ART targets the scar tissue. It is used to break it up and free up the soft tissue. The doctor will use his 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 specific patient movements. The specific contact, tension, and patient movement set ART apart from other soft tissue techniques.

The following conditions respond especially well to ART:
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Shoulder problems (rotator cuff)
  • Whiplash
  • Sprains/Strains
  • Muscle performance

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