What is Active Release Techniques (ART) to Individuals, Athletes, and Patients?
ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and 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 ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
How do overuse conditions occur?
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:
Each of these factors can cause 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 cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.
What is an ART treatment like?
Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement 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 specific moves - are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy is a remarkably effective protocol designed to eliminate pain and increase range of motion in the body by releasing adhesions in the soft tissues of the body. Most people have latent Trigger Points that may restrict range of motion, which the body often recognizes as pain or stiffness. These Trigger Points develop during accidents or from repetitive activities at work, sleep, or play. It is when Trigger Points become activated by a restless night sleep, a fender bender, or a slip on the ice that they create pain and stiffness.
Trigger Points often cause pain and stiffness in distal (distant) locations in the body, away from the actual adhesion site. For example, migraines and tension headaches are often caused by adhesions in the neck, back, and shoulders even though the symptom is felt in the form of a headache. Carpal tunnel-like symptoms may be caused by adhesions in the shoulder, neck or forearm. Low back pain may be caused by adhesions in the abdominal muscles along with muscles of the back, hips, and legs. Fibromyalgia is often a misdiagnosis, when it is, instead, pain resulting from myofascial adhesions and dysfunction.
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy is designed to address these issues in an effective and efficient way using a simple and straightforward protocol:
-The first step is a thorough examination of perpetuating factors in one's environment that may be involved in causing adhesions or imbalance. These include daily activities, sleep patterns, possible structural anomalies, nutrition, and a wide variety of environmental factors that may be associated with the pain in question.
-Next, the Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist and patient work together to release the adhesions within the soft tissues of the body using depth and pressure tailored to fit the comfort and needs of that patient.
-Finally, the Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist trains the patient in methods of self-care to maximize the effectiveness of the treatment program. This allows a patient to address their pain at home when it may arise, eventually replacing the treatment from the therapist entirely.
The ultimate goal is to live a pain free life through the knowledge and understanding of the pain and how to release it. For many, resolution of these painful symptoms can be frustratingly elusive. Through Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy, our patients find that they are finally able to achieve the relief they have been looking for. Visit one of our providers for a thorough assessment and get on your way to a pain free life!