Active Release Therapy: Benefits and Effectiveness of ART

What is ART?

Active Release Therapy, or ART is a massage technique used to target soft tissue injuries in adult patients as well as athletes. The soft tissue manipulation of ART treats a whole host of muscular, tendon, fascia, nerves and ligament issues. Most of the injuries seen by ART specialists are over-use injuries, as well as headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, shin splints and sciatica. Other symptoms such as shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow and knee problems can also be treated with ART.

What Does ART Treat?

There are several ways that overuse conditions can occur in the body, creating a dense and very tough scar tissue in the affected areas. There are acute conditions, such as tears, pulls or as the result of a collision. Accumulation of injury also occurs with small tears in the soft tissue called micro trauma. Hypoxia can occur when the tissues are not getting enough oxygen.

How Does ART Work?

Active Release Therapy works to relieve all of these symptoms by increasing the circulation within the tissue and stimulating new cell growth by way of massage and manipulation. Massage works to actively release scar tissue that is binding the muscles down, combating the problems that arise from muscles being shorter and thus weaker. ART also targets and releases tension on the tendons (tendonitis) and frees up the nerves that become trapped in injured muscular tissues. Freeing of the trapped nerves can relieve numbness, tingling and weakness in those affected areas.

ART Treatment

Active Release Therapy is a combination of massage, targeting very specific muscles by the therapist and movement of the patient into one of over 500 positions. These “moves” are unique to ART and very patient-specific. It is unlikely that two patients will receive the exact same treatment protocol, as every individual’s body is unique in its muscular makeup and every injury is unique to that particular person. An ART therapist is highly trained in physiology, muscular and spinal anatomy and is likely familiar with, if not an expert in, chiropractic practices.

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