Active Release Techniques | Active Release Therapy | IMPACT Physical Therapy

Active Release Techniques

Our healthcare professional are fully trained in ART so that you get the best treatment possible, and the fastest results.

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What is Active Release Techniques (ART)

Active Release Technique (ART) is a state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems that result from overused muscles. ART works for muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. Conditions that can be resolved quickly with ART include:

  • headaches
  • back pain
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • shin splints
  • shoulder pain
  • sciatica
  • plantar fasciitis
  • knee problems
  • tennis elbow

What Does Active Release Therapy Treat?

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) are compromised in three important ways:

  • Acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc.)
  • Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • Lack of oxygen (hypoxia).

Each of these factors can cause the body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move. Build-up of scar tissue causes muscles to become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause a number of problems, including reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

What Does Active Release Therapy Entail?

Every ART session combines both examination and treatment. The therapist 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 specific movements by the patient.

A muscle treated with ART is shortened and a manual tension is applied to the muscle by a therapist’s fingers. Then, the patient actively lengthens the muscle while the therapist holds tension on the muscle. When a muscle is tight, the technique works by increasing the nervous system’s tolerance to stretch the muscle.

ART vs. Other Treatments

The difference between ART and other techniques and services is that during an ART treatment, the patient actively moves the affected structure, muscle, or ligament while the therapist maintains contact on the injured area. This allows the therapist to feel the structure as it moves under their contact, and to effectively treat those restricted muscles, tendons, or ligaments.  While ART may look and feel very similar to massage, the big difference is that massage will relax the muscles, while ART will actually help to treat and relieve the pain.

Schedule Your Treatment Today!

At IMPACT Physical Therapy & Sports Recovery, we want the best for all of our patients. Our physical therapists are fully trained in ART so that you get the best treatment possible, and the fastest results.

*All sports recovery services included in a Therapeutic Massage Tune Up including ART, ASTYM, Cupping, Dry Needling and Graston are provided for the sole purpose of maintenance and performance enhancement by a licensed and credentialed practitioner. 

Preventing or recovering from an injury can be difficult. Let IMPACT Physical Therapy help you get back in the game with our expert Physical Therapists. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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