Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) is a specialized soft tissue technique designed to break up scar tissue, adhesions, and fibrotic tissue changes that develop in muscles, tendons, and ligaments following both acute and chronic injuries. The technique was designed with the athlete in mind, but has shown to be very effective in treating a wide variety of injuries (including injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents and work-related causes). The goal of the therapy is to decrease pain, reduce recovery time, and speed the rate of healing allowing the patient to return to their normal activities as quickly as possible.
How does it work?
When an injury to soft tissue occurs, inflammation and tissue hypoxia occurs creating adverse environment for healing. A.R.T. works to change this environment by stimulating blood flow to the injured area bringing more oxygen to the tissue. Additionally, tension is always taken with the muscle fibers to help restore some of the tissue’s normal elasticity helping to improve range of motion and flexibility.
What does it feel like?
A.R.T. treatments utilize active movements by the patient whenever possible. This allows the patient to feel in control during the treatment process and helps to increase comfort. The active motion also allows for a neurological feedback to occur diminishing the sensation of pain. Treatments can be somewhat tender, especially in acute injury cases. However, treatments are altered individually for each patient, depending on tissue tolerance, and tenderness should not last more than 12-24 hours following treatment.
Why is an A.R.T. treatment combined with chiropractic more effective than just chiropractic alone?
Chiropractors are experts in identifying the abnormal biomechanics that have taken place leading to injury, as well as, addressing the changes that have occurred on the bone and joint position during the injury process. However, the surrounding tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments) absorb a significant amount of force during the injury process, which otherwise left unattended can contribute to the cumulative injury cycle leading to a chronic problem. A.R.T. providers help in breaking this cycle by treating the fibrotic changes that have occurred in the surrounding tissues helping to restore the tissues integrity.
What can A.R.T. treat?
A.R.T. is very effective in the treatment of a variety of soft tissue injuries and can significantly cut the recovery time by 25-50% on average. Dr. Hansen has a success rate of 80-90% in the treatment and/or pain management of the following conditions and injuries:
Arthritis Lateral Epicondylitis
Achilles Tendonitis Medial Epicondylitis
Ankle Sprains Muscle Weakness
Back Pain Muscles Strains/Pulls
Bicipital Tendonitis Myofascitis
Bunions Neck Pain
Bursitis Nerve Entrapments
Carpal Tunnel Patellar Femoral Pain Syndrome
Compartment Syndromes Patellar Tendonitis
Cumulative Trauma Injuries Patellar Tracking Issues
De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis Plantar Fasciitis
Dupuytren’s Contracture Post Surgical Treatment
Disc Herniation Repetitive Strain Injuries
Foot Injuries Restless Leg Syndrome
Finger Injuries Rib Dysfunction
Frozen Shoulder Sciatica
Golfer’s Elbow Shin Splints
Gait Imbalances Shoulder Pain
Hammer Toes Swimmer’s Shoulder
Hand Injuries Tendonitis
Headaches Tennis Elbow
Heel Spurs Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Hip Pain Throwing Injuries
IT Band Syndrome TMJ Dysfunction
Impingement Syndromes Torticollis
Joint Dysfunctions Whiplash
Knee Meniscus Injuries Wrist Injuries
Who uses A.R.T.?
A.R.T. has been a mainstay in the treatment of sports injuries among professional athletes for over a decade. Many MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA teams have an A.R.T. provider available for their athletes. Additionally, A.R.T. is one of the official Ironman sponsors and has been enjoyed by many former and recent Olympic medalists.
Although, A.R.T. was developed with the athlete in mind, this technique is not exclusive to sport. It has been effective in the treatment and management of soft-tissue conditions resulting from work-related injuries, motor vehicle accidents, overuse injuries, and stress-related conditions. Now is the time to let Dr. Richard Hansen be your guide and educator to optimal health.