What is ART (Active Release Technique)?

What is ART (Active Release Technique)?

Active Release Technique (ART) is the gold standard of soft tissue treatment for sports injuries and has been around for more than 30 years. This technique is used to treat problems that involve the ligaments, muscles, tendons, fascia, and nerves.

ART is considered one of the most effective and successful therapies for soft tissue injuries and is very similar to a deep tissue massage. ART was first patented by P. Michael Leahy, a certified chiropractic sports physician, who created this therapy specifically to treat patients dealing with chronic pains and injuries.

Check out our blog on chiropractic care for more info. Chiropractic and ART are two therapies that are excellent for anyone with sports-related or soft tissue injuries.

How Active Release Technique Works

ART uses the movement of the patient to create tension on adhesions, commonly known as scar tissue. An adhesion, or scar tissue, is developed from small tears in muscles, tendons, or ligaments when they are overused or injured.

Adhesions limit flexibility, causing pain and stiffness in muscles and twinges in the nerves. While an examiner is performing the ART technique, they will isolate and target the area, manipulating it to break up the scar tissue, restore blood flow and promote faster healing. The treatment protocols, over 500 specific moves, are unique to ART.

How Long Does Treatment Last?

Every patient is different, but on average between 3-6 visits, each between 15-20 minute long, is typical for the correction of soft tissue injuries. Patients must take on their own responsibilities during recovery as well, that may include their own stretching and strengthening exercises, which can help speed the recovery timeline.

ART can create discomfort, like any typical massage, but pressure shouldn’t be applied beyond the patient’s tolerance.

Who should use ART?

What do headaches, neck pain, shin splints, sciatica, tennis elbow, and knee problems all have in common? Overused muscles. These are all conditions that can be resolved quickly with ART.

Almost anyone can benefit from ART – professional athletes, office workers, housewives, youth, doctors, and many others! Check with your local chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and physicians to see if they are trained in ART.

Active Release Technique Resources