Active release technique is also known as ART and it is a well-developed process of movement and massage. This combination, which was first developed by Dr. Michael Leahy in 1984 as a pain management system, is now used to treat a variety of conditions, including many everyday aches and pains. Pain in the ligaments, nerves, tendons, muscles, and other types of connective tissue can benefit from these techniques. If you have pain, then ART might be just what you need to find relief.
The general idea behind ART is that when an injury occurs (or even some type of pain) there is often an adhesion that forms. This can end up limiting the range of motion of a muscle, tendon, ligament, and what have you. Using ART, scar tissue and adhesions on and in between muscles (and other connective tissue) are identified.
Since scar tissue and adhesions can actually make muscles shorter and weaker nerves can end up becoming compressed. ART breaks up the scar tissue by the application of specific movements and pressure to lengthen the tissue.
Helps With Back Pain:
One of the most common pain related problems today seems to be back pain. Very often, pain in the back is caused by the compression and entrapment of peripheral nerves. This is a perfect usage of ART, since the whole idea is to lengthen the muscle, ending the compression of the nerves in question. This is why most patients who have used these techniques for their back pain see a substantial improvement in only two or three visits.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
ART is also very effective in the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. Due to frequent computer and other repetitive motion activities are becoming more common. Instances of carpal tunnel syndrome have become increasingly frequent.
In many cases, ART helps people with knee problems and pain. It is often overlooked, but the psoas muscle is the reason for many of the problems related to the knee. Active release techniques are very effective for identifying and then reducing many types of knee issues. A qualified ART practitioner can often reduce these issues effectively and permanently.
Shoulder Pain & Problems:
If you have ever developed the condition known as frozen shoulder, then you know that this is no fun. ART is very effective in treating this common condition, along with many other types of shoulder pain and injuries. These techniques are also quite capable of addressing more than one area, thereby improving the overall performance of all soft tissues in the kinetic chain of the shoulder.
Repetitive Strain Injuries:
We all lead active, stressful, and busy lives. Many times this means performing the same movement repetitively, which can lead to painful and constant stress injuries. Of course, athletes also suffer from these conditions due to frequent exercise and over exertion. ART massage has shown excellent results in the treatment of these types of consistant stress injuries. Incidentally, health and wellness experts think this type of injury could be an even bigger health concern than back pain.
As you can see, there are a number of different injuries and issues that show how active release techniques can help you. If you are suffering from any of these conditions be sure to find a qualified ART therapist. Of course, there a number of other conditions that can be treated with ART, so ask if you are unsure.
Written by Dr. Aatif Siddiqui. Founder of Esprit Wellness, Dr. Sid focuses on total body wellness through maintaining a healthy spine.