Active Release Technique (ART): An effective treatment for chronic pain

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Our body has incredible techniques of self-healing if we give proper stimulation to it. Active Release Technique (ART) is a simple way to heal chronic pain without the need for any surgery. This non-invasive treatment involves massage and body movement to heal chronic pain which happens because of problems in ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and fascia.

This technique causes the breaking of scar tissues which are also called adhesions. This allows proper blood circulation in the body and increases flexibility and release of entrapped nerves for faster healing. The main aim of ART is to allow joints to move freely without any stiffness.

The active release technique is a movement-based technique that’s very specific, where it targets muscles from their origin to their insertion point, to break up scar tissue and muscle adhesion.

What kind of conditions can be treated with the active release technique?

Chiropractors, doctors, physical therapists, and massage therapists use this technique to treat many chronic and acute pains. In the case of soft tissue injuries or traumatic accidents, ART is an effective treatment.

There are various conditions with which the active release technique can help, which include neck pain, lower back pain, tennis elbow also known as epicondylitis, golfer’s elbow, and tension headaches. The active release technique can also help with pains that are more uncommon such as:

  • Shin splints
  • Chronic tension or headaches that can stem from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Shoulder strains and sprains
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Peripheral nerve entrapments such as Sciatica
  • Plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is pain at the bottom of the foot, which we found that the Active Release Technique can really help combined with Shockwave Therapy.

Active Release Technique for treating scar tissue

The active release technique is very good at breaking up scar tissue. The scar tissue is basically fibrous tissue, which makes the muscle harder to move, and we sometimes lose a little bit of mobility. Scar tissue can be between muscle and muscle, muscle and ligament, and ligament and nerves. The active release technique works really hard to break up these scar tissue or muscle adhesion.

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Once ART breaks up the scar tissue, patients may experience the below benefits:

  • Relief in muscles stiffness
  • Feeling of restoration in fingers and toes
  • Enhanced flexibility and strength
  • Less inflammation and joint pain.
  • Relief while doing exercise or other physical activity

ART is not much relaxing as a massage; it may be uncomfortable for patients. But once done, you will get a chance to participate in all physical activities and get relief from pain. This makes this technique worthwhile.

So what is scar tissue? 

Scar tissue is fibrous tissue that’s crisscrossed and can cause impairment in mobility. It is a collection of collagen and cells which covers the injury site. The way it does that is if scar tissue is blocking the blood flow, then we can see some of that tingling and numbness in the extremities.

Signs of scar tissue

  • Stiffness in the neck, knees, back, or elbow
  • Pain during exercise
  • Pain at the bottom of the foot near the heel
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers
  • Decrease in flexibility or limited motion
  • Reduced strength
  • Inflamed joints

The active release technique has a multitude of benefits, including the increase in ranges of motion and mobility, which ultimately allows you to perform your activities at a much higher level.

Side effects of Active Release Technique (ART)

Patients may find some residual soreness and sometimes a little bit of pain and bruising. But most of our patients have recovered relatively well and quickly, ultimately resulting in less pain, less chronic pain, and just better movement throughout their day.

Who can benefit from the Active Release Technique (ART)?

Many star athletes, amateur athletes, or weekend warriors who want to do something adventurous in their life, prefer ART. Hence all age groups can take advantage of this technique with the help of a licensed provider.

To get to the root cause of pain and discomfort, schedule an initial consultation, including a comprehensive evaluation and first treatment.

Can the Active Release Technique replace surgery?

Sometimes we get the question of whether the active release technique can help prevent surgery. Lots of times we have been able to delay or even prevent surgery. An example, we got one patient in our clinic who’s been coming to us for a few months now for carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is where we lose blood flow and have nerve collisions because of the tightness around the wrist.

We’re able to release that through active release techniques or ART, which help them get a better feeling and less pain into their hands, ultimately preventing surgery altogether. They’re super thrilled to visit us at our San Francisco clinic. This can definitely arise in other parts of the body and the active release techniques can help even prevent surgical interventions. So if you or your loved one is suffering from any sort of musculoskeletal injury at any of the extremities, give us a call, and let’s get you on our schedule so we can see what’s going on and see if the active release technique or ART is the best type of therapy for you.

What to expect during an ART treatment?

This technique involves physical exams and treatment all at once. After knowing your pain area, your practitioner will sense the tightness or unusual muscle movement in the affected area. This is an examination phase.

After problem detection, your practitioner will manipulate the affected area with suitable movements. Such a technique will stretch the soft tissues and will break the adhesion which causes pain.

An expert practitioner should perform this technique. If you think that this technique will cure you, contact us.

Final Word

If you’re suffering from any sort of sports injury or any joint issues, give us a call at our San Francisco clinic. We have many different providers at our clinic that are trained to perform active release techniques and can get you better as quickly as possible. So you can go back to doing what you love.

 At our San Francisco clinic, we are versed in treating many different injuries with active release techniques. Get on our schedule with one of our trained providers so we can get started.

To get to the root cause of pain and discomfort, schedule an initial consultation, including a comprehensive evaluation and first treatment..


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