Active Release Techniques® or ART® is a patented, soft tissue technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. This treatment system is used to treat most forms of soft tissue injuries and pain caused by overused muscles, tendons and ligaments.
When muscles are overused, three types of problems may result:
- Acute conditions such as pulls, tears, muscle spasm or contracture, etc.
- Small tears resulting from repetitive motion (also known as micro-trauma)
- Hypoxia or a lack of oxygen to the injured area
In response to such overuse, the body forms fibrous scar tissue, or adhesions. These adhesions build up between muscle fibers, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms including pain, weakness, numbness and tingling, reduced range of motion or eventual loss of function within a region of the body.
ART® can be used to treat these symptoms and a variety of issues including headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems and tennis elbow.
During an ART® treatment, the provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of a patient’s muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. The practitioner then directs tension to the injured area, and directs the patient to move the affected muscle or ligament. This allows the practitioner to feel and treat those constrained muscles, tendons or ligaments, allowing muscles to moving fully and freely.
References: What is Active Release Techniques (ART) to Providers? Active Release Techniques® Copyright© 2010.