Have joint or muscle or pain? Have limited mobility? You might be a candidate for Active Release Techniques – a modern manual soft tissue therapy, similar to massage therapy, focused on activating dormant muscles and restore full motion.
Tight muscles and trigger points can have a significant impact on your joints and overall quality of life. While other therapy techniques only mask the symptoms, a new treatment called Active Release Techniques® actually remedies the issue. Active Release Techniques or ART activates those muscles that have been turned off as a result of an injury. In doing so, this method relieves muscle pain and restores more functional mobility.
You deserve world-class treatment. Schedule an appointment to talk to one of our Colorado Springs ART specialists to learn if Active Release Techniques is right for you.
What Is Active Release Techniques®?
ART is a type of therapy that involves manipulating the soft tissue to relieve tight muscles and nerve trigger points to reduce joint stress and muscular pain. The condition was first patented by P. Michael Leahy, who created the method to treat patients with a variety of chronic pains and/or injuries.
The treatment is similar to deep tissue massage and myofascial release in that it works by manipulating the soft tissues in the body to reduce stress acting on the joints and nerves. ART is used to naturally treat conditions involving the connective tissue, major muscle groups, tendons, and ligaments in the body, typically without medication. Most of these conditions are the result of overused muscles, which cause scar tissue formation, pulls, strains, tears, and inflammation.
The primary goal of Active Release Techniques is to restore regular mobility and smooth gliding motion between muscular tissue and nerves. The treatment can also help move joint fluid through the body and stimulate the lymphatic system to reduce inflammation.
This treatment often provides the most relief for conditions including:
- Lower back pain
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
- Tension headaches
- Carpal tunnel
- Shoulder strain, such as frozen shoulder
- Tennis elbow
- Sciatic nerve pain
Who Is a Candidate for ART?
Individuals who are experiencing adhesion or the accumulation of scar tissue often benefit most from the active release technique. With that, some indicators that you may be a good candidate for this type of treatment include that you experience:
- Pain or stiffness in your neck, back, knees, hands, or elbows that may at times be associated with bursitis or tendonitis
- Increased pain or even throbbing when working out or exercising
- Reduced flexibility and range of motion
- Loss in muscle strength
- Inflammation in your joints or frequent join pain
- Tingling, numbness, weakness, and other signs of nerve damage
How Well Does the Treatment Work?
ART is different than simple massage or stretching because it focuses on the underlying problem that is causing pain and functions to break up existing adhesions. While stretching can help reduce the formation of adhesions if it is done at the right time and in the right way, it won’t treat scar tissue that has already developed. As such, this technique is one that is more effective at consistently resolving patient issues. In fact, Dr. Leahy, the creator of active release technique, actually found that he was able to effective remedy over 90 percent of his patients’ ailments naturally with this method. Once the underlying tissue has been addressed, individuals are less likely to experience issues moving forward and can typically return to traditional preventative measures, including exercise, stretching, and myofascial release.
Not only that, but Active Release Technique actually delivers five major benefits compared to other treatments:
- Increase Flexibility – Research has shown that even a single session can help increase your flexibility.
- Improve Range of Motion – The treatment has also been shown to increase range of motion and mobility in those individuals with musculoskeletal disorders and those experience acute trauma and episodes of chronic pain.
- Reduce Lower Back Pain – Because it helps break up scar tissue and release compressed nerves, ART also helps reduce chronic low back pain.
- Relieve Carpel Tunnel – The treatment has also been shown to widely reduce pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Improves Performance – Not only does the technique treat ongoing issues, but it also helps prevent future injuries and improve performance by restoring the health of muscle and connective tissue and reducing the accumulation of fibrous tissue.
How Many Treatments Are Needed?
ART is an extremely unique protocol that is comprised of very precise, targeted movements, many of which are actually performed by the patient. Each treatment session is different and custom-created by the certified treatment provider to target your exact problem, taking location and severity of symptoms into account. More than 500 different hand motions are utilized by practitioners to evaluate your condition, identify areas of tightness that signify tissue damage, and then allow you to move in such a way as to release the affected tissue. No two treatment plans are exactly alike or require the same number of treatments.
Is ART Covered by Insurance?
Active Release Techniques is covered by most insurance providers. The treatment is effective for a variety of pains. And while most patients come in for ART after experiencing sports injuries, the method is effective for treating knee and shoulder pain, chronic headaches, and tight tendons and fascia.
Active Release Techniques is an effective form of soft tissue manipulation used to release scare tissue, known as adhesions. The condition helps treat (and prevent) injuries by improving range of motion, promoting greater flexibility, reducing pain, and improving recovery time. The technique is a trademarked and patented protocol that uses over 500 movements performed by certified practitioners to achieve the desired results. If you think you may benefit from ART, discuss the possibility with your doctor to formulate an effective treatment regimen.