Active Release Technique or ART is a state-of-the-art soft tissue treatment system and movement-based technique designed to help treat muscle problems as well as issues with the tendons, ligaments, nerves, and fascia.
The technique can also benefit patients suffering from headaches, back pain, TMJ, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, shoulder pain, tendonitis, knee problems, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, soft tissue inflammation, and other inflammatory problems of the joints.
These conditions are commonly caused by overuse and strained muscles, which are exactly what active release technique addresses.
ART is used to treat conditions that occur due to the formation of scar tissues or adhesions in strained or overused muscles. Active Release Therapy is a treatment technique for soft tissue injuries with the goal of restoring the smooth movement of tissues and to release any entrapped nerves or blood vessels.
According to practitioners of ART, the muscles tend to become weaker and shorter when these adhesions accumulate, resulting in an altered range of motion not only in the muscles but also in the joints. This is also largely due to nerve compression.
The combination of these conditions reduces blood supply to the tissues, which ultimately results in pain and poor flexibility or mobility. It is ART's aim to reestablish smooth movement of the tissues and decompress/release trapped blood vessels and nerves, thus normalizing and improving blood flow.
In ART, the practitioner uses trained hands to assess the mobility, texture, and tightness of soft tissues in problem areas. By using hand pressure, he or she will try to remove and break fibrous adhesions down with the help of stretching motions, following the direction of venous and lymphatic flows. In some cases, the chiropractor may also go against these natural flows to address the problem.