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

Active Release Technique, or A.R.T., is a type of therapy that works with the body’s natural patterns of movements.

It is a type of manual hands-on therapy that corrects muscular and soft tissue problems. The Chiropractor will apply pressure to the area being treated, while the patient moves the joint through the full range of motion. The goal of treatment is to release adhesions, or scar tissue, from the soft tissues in your body.

The soft tissues of your body are muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments and the connective tissue. These tissues can be damaged from specific injuries, such as:

  • acute injuries (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
  • accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

Essentially, A.R.T. is an effective method of treatment that can resolve the pain caused by these and other injuries.

What Can I Expect From a Treatment?

A.R.T. is a combination of both examination and treatment. Typically, treatments may be uncomfortable, as tissues are stretched, and you may feel a burning sensation. This is an expected response, and often stops after treatment, although an ache could last for two days. There is no easy way to break up scar tissue, and stretching the soft tissues may cause discomfort. The result of the treatment is that you should notice a ‘loose’ or ‘freed up’ feeling along with increased mobility.

Who Can Benefit from Active Release Technique?

Everyone! A.R.T. is beneficial for anyone who has experienced any form of stress or injury. Our bodies contain special protein structures called connective tissue, also known as fascia. This substance connects almost all the tissues in our body together, very much like a flexible skeleton. When this tissue is healthy, it is smooth and slippery, allowing muscles, nerves, blood vessels or organs to move freely and function properly. Imagine a piece of scotch tape, the smooth side is healthy fascia; the sticky side is scar tissue or unhealthy fascia. Rub the “sticky” side of the tape along your skin to “feel” what an adhesion is like. The drag that you feel, the ‘pulling’ sensation, is what an adhesion is like. These adhesions attach to muscles after injury, decreasing their ability to work properly. You will know when you have an adhesion on a nerve; as you will feel abnormal sensations like numbness, tingling and pain.

An adhesion is the scar tissue that builds up in your muscles and joints after injuries. This prevents you from achieving optimum levels of mobility and function.