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Active Release Techniques (ART®)

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What is Active Release Technique (ART®)?

Active Release Technique is a hands-on treatment used for treating soft-tissue (i.e. muscle, tendon, fascia, nerves). A certified ART® practitioner utilizes a thorough history, physical and biomechanical exam to properly diagnose the soft-tissue injury. These injuries are often a result of repetitive strain, cumulative trauma, adhesions, tissue hypoxia and joint dysfunction.

How does one develop a soft-tissue injury?

In order for a muscle, ligament and/or nerve to function it must be supplied oxygen, via the blood (circulatory system). Repetitive work tasks, poor posture and endurance sports can all cause a tissue to remain in a tightened or stressed position for a prolonged period of time. As a result the blood supply to that tissue becomes compromised, decreasing oxygen to the area resulting in “tissue hypoxia.” Tissue hypoxia results in the body replacing the tissue, with tissue that does not require as much oxygen to function; known as “Scar tissue.” Scar tissue causes poor muscle contraction, decrease range of motion, tissue friction and nerve irritation.

How does ART® work?

ART® practitioner’s locate the scar tissue structures and use their thumbs or fingers to place tension on the muscle while the patient actively moves that body part to stretch the muscle and break up the scar tissue. Ideally, your practitioner will add some rehabilitation exercises to help promote the new tissue from developing properly.