Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.)

ART.jpg Active Release Techniques
Soft Tissue Management Systems

With a success rate of over 90%, Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.) has become one of most sought after soft tissue treatments in the world today. Used to treat repetitive motion injuries, Olympic athletes take advantage of its benefits as do injured athletes who wish to quickly return to their training protocols.

What is Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.)?

A.R.T. is a patented, state-of-the-art, soft tissue management system that treats problems that occur with:

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  •  Fascia
  • Nerves

Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, Plantar Fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with A.R.T. (Click HERE for a complete list of conditions treatable with A.R.T.) These conditions all have one important thing in common - they often result from injury to overused muscles.

How do overuse injuries occur?

Overused muscles (and other traumatized soft tissues) can cause changes to your body in three important ways:

  • Cause acute injuries (pulls, tears, collisions, etc.);
  • Accumulate small tears (micro-trauma); and
  • Reduce oxygen flow to cells (hypoxia).


Each of these changes causes your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up:

  • Muscles become shorter and weaker;
  • Tension on tendons causes tendonitis; and
  • Nerves can become trapped.

This can result in reduced ranges of motion, loss of strength, and pain. With trapped nerves, you may also feel tingling, numbness, shooting pains, burning sensations, weakness, muscle atrophy and circulatory changes.

ART3.jpg What happens during an A.R.T. treatment?
Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tension, movement and function of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

These treatment protocols - over 500 of them - are unique to A.R.T. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. A.R.T. is not a cookie-cutter approach.

Treatments take about 8-15 minutes for each area being treated. A condition may require two to ten visits before full functionality is restored. Manipulation if requested is frequently carried out in conjunction with A.R.T. to increase treatment effectiveness.

Whenever possible we have our patients perform active movements during the treatment process. Active motions stimulate neurological pathways in the spinal cord that help to reduce pain during treatment. Motion also help to reproduce the stresses the patient will actually be under during normal active motion.

ART4.jpg Ensuring you get the right touch!
Strength, speed and endurance are expected to improve within the first few treatments. We will often have our patients test these factors after two or three visits. If no improvement is seen, we know that either we have not found the source of the problem,or the area affected needs to be strengthened further.

Active Release Techniques is non-invasive, very safe, has virtually no side effects, and has a record of producing very good results. When a soft tissue problem has resolved the symptoms will not return unless the injury happens again. To avoid future injuries we instruct our patients in specific exercises, give postural recommendations and explain to our patients the mechanism of injury so that it may be avoided in the future.

How does an A.R.T. treatment feel?
Treatments can feel uncomfortable during the movement phases as the scar tissue or adhesions "break-up". This discomfort is temporary and subsides almost immediately after the treatment. It is common to feel a duplication of your pain symptoms during the treatment (a good indication that the problem has been identified). In fact, patients report that "It hurts good!"

Please Note: This is the Active Release Information Page. We are providing this information for your benefit. We are not implying "Superiority" of this technique over other procedures. Active Release technique is one of the many tools we use at Woodgrove Pines Clinic to address musculoskeletal conditions.

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