Why Active Release Techniques (ART)® and Sports Chiropractic Work Well Together
ART® was designed by Dr. Michael Leahy, about 30 years ago to help address soft tissue injuries that other techniques did not treat as effectively or as quickly. As ART® has developed, so has the ability of ART® practitioners to treat different conditions that are not quickly treated by other health care professionals. ART® treats overuse and repetitive injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerve compression injuries (i.e. sciatica originating from buttock/hamstring, carpal tunnel syndrome). Because most sports involve repetitive movement, overuse to these tissues can occur affecting the athlete’s ability to perform and/or enjoy their sport/activity.
Chiropractic plays an important and critical role in sports performance because of the various ways a doctor can heal the patient. Chiropractors believe in the body’s ability to heal itself through a multitude of different therapies and treatments to get their patients healthy. They realign different joints in the body through chiropractic adjustments to reduce the firing of the nervous system in a particular area. This allows the communication to improve between the injured site and the brain and spinal cord where messages are sent to perform actions. As a result, the patient can report improved function, less pain, and increased mobility as a few benefits following a chiropractic adjustment.
When ART® is combined with chiropractic care, it provides the best of both treatments by re-aligning misaligned joints and addressing the soft tissue injury that has resulted from pulling the joint or vertebrae out of alignment. ART® helps sports injuries heal faster because sports chiropractors certified in ART® can identify the tissue of origin related to the cause of the injury, rather than just the symptom/pain. Additionally, this creates a better foundation to address rehab strengthening and stabilizing exercises to help one recover faster. Identifying the mechanism of injury (MOI) sustained from a sports injury is the most important component before utilizing ART® as part of treatment. Once the MOI is diagnosed, then the ART® provider can break down the scar tissue, slowing or eliminating the inflammatory cycle that has perpetuated from overuse or repetitive movement. Scar tissue can limit both the mobility and flexibility of a tissue affecting function and performance when playing sports. By employing ART® to the appropriate tissue, one can regain function and performance quickly, limiting their time away from the sport/activity he/she competes.
Employing both chiropractic manipulation and ART® can limit the athlete’s injury from worsening delaying their return to the field or sport they enjoy.
Brian Marion, DC, CCSP®, ART®, CKTP®
Lincoln Park Chiropractic & Sports Associates 2202 N. Lincoln Ave Suite 1 Chicago, IL 60614