ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
The ART practitioner is specifically trained to locate the scar tissue and release the adhesions that have glued together surrounding soft tissue.
How is ART Different from other therapies?
Historically, professional education for the treatment of muscle, tendon, fascia and nerve problems has generally been neglected. Little progress has been made toward identifying the relationships of moving tissues to one another. Soft tissue care has mostly been confined to rest, ice, drugs, exercises, stretching, manipulation, acupuncture and massage. These therapies either work to strengthen surrounding muscles or attempt to increase blood flow to the region, thereby speeding up the body’s own recovery process. They do not however address the source of the problem; that is, the scar tissue or adhesion site. The pain does not go away by itself because the body has begun to function differently. The inflammation and scar tissue impair the blood supply and set up an ongoing cycle that is self perpetuating. Even stopping the activities that aggravate the condition rarely leads to resolving the problem, as the underlying tissue changes are still present. A return to work or to sports often means a return of the condition. The only way to permanently fix the problem is to break down the scar tissue and release the adhesion. Active Release Technique providers are able to locate and release these adhesions through the use of specific protocols that lengthen the muscle and facilitate the break up of scar tissue.
Who can ART Help?
ART can help people who suffer from pain, numbness, weakness, burning, tingling or loss of motion. ART works well on many common workplace injuries that result from repetitive strain (eg. carpal tunnel syndrome, elbow tendinitis, and neck and lower back pain). ART is effective in resolving different types of headaches and migraines that often linger after a whiplash accident or result from long hours of deskwork. ART has also been shown to be highly effective with sports related injuries. The repetitive stress that results from intense training causes such conditions such as swimmers shoulder, tennis and golfer’s elbow, shin splints and other forms of tendinitis. In addition, elite level athletes use ART to increase their mobility and thereby enhance their performance. In their case any restriction in motion can mean the difference between a gold medal and not even reaching the finals.
How Does an ART Treatment feel?
Treatments can feel uncomfortable during the movement phases as the scar tissue or adhesions "break-up". This discomfort is temporary and subsides almost immediately after the treatment. It is common to feel a duplication of your pain symptoms during the treatment (a good indication that the problem has been identified). Patients report that "It hurts good".
Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her 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 very specific patient movements.
These treatment protocols - over 500 specific moves - are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient.
How do overuse conditions occur?
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:
Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.
What is the history of Active Release Techniques®?
ART has been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients' 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.
Conditions Treated with Active Release Techniques®
Below is a list with some of the main issues that can be treated and resolved with A.R.T