Active Release Technique (ART) is a soft tissue massage rehabilitation technique used by many physical therapists that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Some of the conditions that are treated with ART include: headaches, knee problems, back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints. All these conditions are due to overused muscles.
Overused muscles start to tear and in turn, don’t receive enough oxygen. Scar tissue is formed due to the lack of oxygen and tears in the muscle. Scar tissue build-up can have extreme negative effects on the body like a decrease in flexibility, strength and mobility.
ART is based on massage therapy and was created by P. Michael Leahy. Initially Dr. Leahy noticed that by use of his hands, he was feeling changes in his patients’ soft tissue. The symptoms that his patients had felt were due to changes in their soft tissue. By understanding what the problem was, Dr. Leahy was able to reliably fix over ninety percent of his patients’ problems.
“Active Release Technique has been extremely beneficial for reducing and eliminating scar tissue as well as providing other benefits,” Dr. Ladner, founder of the Omni Wellness Center, said. “ART has been effective for treating pain and promoting healing as part of our rehabilitative programs.”
According to Dr. Ladner, ART has been proven to better the recovery and healing progression as well as lessen scar tissue. Dr. Ladner has seen healing accelerated by ART when she uses the procedure to break down scar adhesions that normally form after an injury or surgery. This unique technique is comprised of more than five hundred precise movements that serve to manipulate the soft tissues concerned in the recovery process.
Physical Therapists say that using laser therapy in unison with ART can create a complete healing program to enhance rehabilitative care. Results of ART combined with laser therapy include reduced selling, faster-healing scar tissue and an overall increase in blood circulation. Based on the injury being treated and the specific needs of the patient, physical therapists may use any mixture of procedures as part of a therapeutic program.