Benefits of Active Release Technique® (ART)
Active Release Technique® (ART) is a hands-on soft-tissue treatment system that “cleans out” the muscle adhesion’s and scar tissue that contribute to muscle weakness and pain. ART® practitioners, use their hands to apply pressure and smooth out the muscles as you control the movement of your muscles through the range of motion. This enable the ability to treat the muscle as it’s working, resulting in smoother healthier tissue relatively quickly. There are four basic processes that cause muscle damage and scar-tissue adhesion’s:
- Injuries – tearing of muscle fibers from a strain, or a crushing of soft tissue from an impact.
- Micro-trauma – accumulation of small muscle tears over time, usually from low stress, repetitive activities.
- Hypoxia – decreased oxygen supply to a muscle promotes scar tissue formation due to over activity of the cells that produce scar tissue (fibroblasts). The body thinks it’s injured, even if it isn’t. When muscle is chronically contracted, like the shoulder muscles when sitting at a desk for long hours, the contraction keeps blood out of the muscle and the fibroblasts produce scar tissue in muscle that has not been injured otherwise.
- Friction – altered gliding of muscles against other muscles, nerves, joints, etc. can cause friction injuries in the muscle which produce scar tissue and adhesion.
The types of conditions successfully treated with ART® is very diverse. Some of the more common conditions are:
- Carpal tunnel and other peripheral nerve entrapment’s
- Spinal pain and dysfunction
- Tendonitis and other soft tissue inflammatory disorders of the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, and foot
Eventually, the accumulation of scar tissue adhesions will result in noticeable symptoms, such as pain and weakness. However, long before symptoms are felt, athletic performance is affected. This is especially true for endurance athletes who tend to log an excessive amount of training miles.
Only a credentialed ART® provider can ascertain whether ART® might prove beneficial for your condition. To become proficient in ART®, it takes approximately two years of working with patients once a provider has taken the courses and passed the required examinations. Providers must attend annual update seminars to maintain their credentialed status and keep current of any new protocols and research.