Active Release Techniques
What is A.R.T.?
ART® is a very specific and comprehensive technique that treats a wide variety of soft tissue conditions from head to toe. Regardless of how the injury or condition occurred- sports, exercise, occupation, household chores, falls, auto accidents or typical aches and pains of daily living- ART® has been quick and effective at restoring normal function.
Where traditional therapies have failed, ART® has excelled. Patients frequently report marginal to moderate relief after receiving physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, myofascial release, and various other therapies. Once they learned about ART® and received treatment these patients finally realize noticeable and sustained relief. Ultimately the vast majority of cases are fully resolved.
Most soft tissue injuries are caused by repetitive stress and strain, overuse, cumulative injury disorders (CID) or direct trauma. When these kinds of injuries occur, three types of soft tissue conditions may result:
- Acute injuries (pulls, tears, collisions, etc.)
- Micro-trauma (accumulation of small tears)
- Hypoxia (lack of oxygen to tissue)
When these conditions exist two forms of lesions can occur- adhesions and scar tissue. Adhesions are simply tissues that are stuck together; similar to how a drip of dried paint causes bristles of a paint brush to adhere. Adhesions prevent the tissue fibers from moving freely and independently. The second form of lesion, scar tissue, is actually one of the body’s normal defense mechanisms and is instrumental in the healing process. Scar tissue will immobilize damaged tissue to allow the healing process to begin; in the same way a cast will immobilize a bone fracture. Scar tissue is a thick, dense connective matrix that weaves its way in and out of the soft tissue fibers. If left untreated, adhesions and excessive scar tissue will lead to a cumulative injury disorder resulting in progressive loss of normal soft tissue function. This alters the proper function of muscles and joints, restricting free movement and normal mobility. Other conditions such as tendonitis can also occur. Typical symptoms may include pain, reduced range of motion, lack of flexibility, loss of strength, and discomfort. If a nerve is compressed or entrapped, the symptoms may also include tingling, burning,numbness and increased weakness.
ART® treatments are conducted in a clinical setting. Each ART® session is a combination of an evaluation and treatment. First, the practitioner will conduct a brief interview and simple orthopedic testing with the patient to determine the potential cause of the condition. This will often result in reproducing the pain or noticeable weakness and discomfort; identifying the tissues that may be involved. Second, the practitioner performs a non-invasive palpation examination of the affected area. During this massage like palpation, the practitioner assesses the integrity, texture, movement, function and tension of the underlying tissue. This process will identify the exact location of the lesion. The practitioner will then perform a series of specific, hands-on ART® protocols to release the restricted tissue or nerve.
ART® consists of over 500 protocols and all are performed following the same procedure- the affected tissue is anatomically shortened, the practitioner then applies precisely directed tension with their hands, and the tissue is anatomically lengthened using specifically designed patient movements. This procedure broadens the tissue, breaks up the adhesion and strips away the scar tissue effectively releasing the restriction within the involved tissue. This may be a bit uncomfortable and even painful but is a strong indicator that the lesion is located and the treatment is working. Patients often report this discomfort as a “hurts good” feeling. As treatments progress, this discomfort and pain subsides as the condition approaches full resolution.
Patients often realize a degree of relief after the first treatment. In many cases, patients are able to continue normal activity during the course of treatment. Complete resolution is best accomplished when the initial treatments are scheduled in close succession. The duration between treatments is extended usually after the first few treatments when the tissue begins to respond, progress towards normal function develops and the patient begins to realize sustained relief. The number of visits required to resolve a particular condition varies and is specific to individual cases. However, on average, most conditions are resolved in 3 to 5 visits. This is normally accomplished within 7 to 10 days. Some conditions may be resolved sooner while others may require additional treatment.
ART® is very different from any other soft tissue technique since it is active, effective, and a complete system. It is versatile in the scope of treatable conditions and patient populations. Adolescents to senior citizens, athletes at all levels, laborers to office workers and anyone that works or plays hard and hurts… all benefit from ART®. Patients’ conditions are resolved quickly, completely and at far less expense than alternative forms of treatment.
What A.R.T. Treats
- Neck/Cervical Pain
- Whiplash Injuries
- Shoulder Impingement
- Rotator Cuff Injuries
- Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
- Bicipital Tendonitis
- Epicondylitis-Tennis/Golfers Elbow
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Wrist Sprains
- Hand Grip Injuries
- Back Pain
- Abdominal Muscle Strains
- Low Back Pain
- Hip Pain
- Piriformis Syndrome
- ITB Syndrome
- Adductor Strains
- Quadriceps Strains
- Hamstring Strains
- Knee Pain
- Patellar Tendonitis
- Meniscus Impingements
- Medial Collateral Ligament Sprains
- Lateral Collateral Ligament Sprains
- Calf Strains
- Shin Splints
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Ankle Sprains
- Plantar Fasciitis, Morton’s Neuroma
- Trigger Points/Muscle Spasms
- Restricted Range of Motion
- Nerve Entrapments
- As well as many other treatable conditions.