Active Release Techniques® (ART) is a noninvasive system for treating soft tissue injuries that relies upon targeted, movement-based massage techniques to achieve results. Soft tissue injuries are frequently reoccurring injuries, and they are most often caused by overuse or repetitive activities. Conventional treatment options overlook the fact that fibrous scar tissue can form within damaged muscles, tendons and ligaments resulting in chronic pain, diminished range of motion and elasticity, and a decrease in oxygen due to diminished blood supply. Through a thorough physical examination, ART practitioners are able to pinpoint scar tissue and work to return full blood perfusion and range of motion to the affected tissues.
Soft tissue injuries are strains, sprains, and contusions that occur in the connective tissues that support and connect the muscles, bones and other structures of the human body. Many pathological conditions can be caused by soft tissue injuries, including headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, tennis elbow, and knee problems.
Soft tissue injuries take an unknown toll on individual well-being, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that they account for more than $200 billion dollars a year in lost work hours and medical fees.
Soft tissue injuries are often caused by repetitive motion. Even in situations where the initial damage was due to a traumatic injury, overuse of the affected muscles will exacerbate a soft tissue injury.
Soft tissue injuries fall into three categories:
• Acute: Muscle tears, abrasions and pulls
• Micro-Trauma: Tiny acute injuries that have an aggregate effect over time
• Hypoxia: Occurs when there is damage to the capillary system, which supplies muscles with oxygen. The result is muscles not receiving enough oxygen to function effectively.
Every Active Release Techniques session is a combination of examination and treatment. The ART practitioner examines their patients to locate the scar tissue and encapsulations that bind tissues, preventing them from moving freely. As tissues lose mobility, they become shorter and weaker. Tendonitis and chronic nerve pain may also develop.
The ART provider treats problem areas by applying targeted tension while the patient moves in specific ways. Every ART patient has a treatment plan that’s tailored to their needs, using the ART treatment protocol of more than 500 moves that are unique to ART.