What is Active Release Technique?

Who has experienced pain in their muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, fasciae or nerves? I think the majority of us answering that question would answer positively. While there are countless reasons for pain in these parts of the body, the main reason is due simply to overuse. Over-used muscles and soft tissues can change over time, and acute conditions (tears or pulls), micro-trauma to tissues (due to the accumulation of small tears), and hypoxia (not receiving enough oxygen) can cause many painful side-effects such as headaches, back or shoulder pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, tennis elbow, or plantar fasciitis. Many of these conditions caused by overuse can create areas of scar tissue. This dense scar tissue can trap nerves (potentially causing numbness), hinder range of motion in joints, and generally cause pain and decreased strength in affected areas. Active Release Technique (ART), a massage based technique, can greatly aid you by targeting and healing these areas of the body strained by overuse.

History of Active Release Technique

ART was originally developed and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. As a practicing chiropractor he noticed that his patients often were suffering from pain in their muscles and soft tissues, and he noticed that he could feel the dense scar tissue or tightness of muscles by hand. By noticing how these muscles, ligaments, tendons, fasciae and nerves responded to different methods of massage, he started the Active Release Technique, and was able to consistently help over 90% of his patients’ problems and pain.

Why Use Active Release Technique?

Most healthcare providers use some type of method to treat soft tissue problems, such as massage, electrical modalities, ultrasound, or trigger point. How is ART any different? The method of ART is different. The identified tissue is shortened, contact tension is applied, and the tissue is then lengthened or moved slightly relative to the nearby tissue. Certified ART providers are not only incredibly knowledgeable in anatomy, but also have invested much time and effort in learning over 500 treatment protocols. Along with learning how to “feel” for the texture, tension, and movement of muscles, ligaments, tendons, fasciae, and nerves, they also have learned where to apply direct tension using the specific movements or protocols.

Ask our very own ART certified Dr. Kaiser about this technique! It is likely that during your appointments with him he has already used this effective method to expedite your healing process, putting you back on the road to recovery!