Active Release Techniques
Active Release is a specific form of soft-tissue therapy that is used like other common forms of soft-tissue therapy such as of massage therapy, myofascial release, IMS, or IASTM (instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, for example, Graston technique.) It is primarily used by Chiropractors, but also by other health care providers like Physical Therapists and Massage Therapists
From ART’s website:
“What is Active Release Techniques (ART)
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.
How do overuse conditions occur?
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:
- acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
- accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
- not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).
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 an ART treatment like?
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.”
Active Release is a great tool for restoring specific soft tissue mobility. It is often used to treat overuse soft-tissue injuries. As with most things, it is not a solution for everything. Combined with exercise, nutrition and joint manipulation/mobilization, it offers a fairly comprehensive option for many musculo skeletal injuries as well as functional movment/performance improvement.
Our joints and muscles work as a unit, all controlled by our brain. They are healthy when they are moving properly and strong. This is a simple concept, but not always simple to achieve. At Redefined Health we typically will address at least some basic aspects of movement, strength, and nutrition to support healing or restore proper function as quickly and fully as possible. The same basic approach is used when dealing with our clients who are looking for performance gains or preventative therapy.
How long does it take?
Minimum tissue healing is typically 4-6 wks. If something needs to heal or build new, stronger tissue it takes time. Soft tissue remodeling can continue for years. If the only issue is movement, typically this can be restored more quickly. Chronic problems that require more tissue remodeling as well as more strength and conditioning, building new patterns and habits usually take longer. Not everything is just a matter of time. If strength or mobility don’t improve, things can do on indefinitely. If they both improve quickly, conditions can resolve quickly. By getting at multiple different parts of the problem, we cover our bases and give it the best chance to get better faster and stay better.
Dr. Fix was full body certified in Active Release Techniques for the first time in 2007 and no longer maintains active certification.
Dr. Spellman was full body certified in Active Release Techniques in 2009 and no longer maintains active certification.