What is Active Release Technique?

Active Release Technique, also known as A.R.T., is a system of hands-on assessment and treatment designed to:

  • Restore optimal tissue texture, tension, and interface
  • Improve mobility and strength
  • Improve circulation to the area
  • Reduce nerve interference to allow proper conduction to muscle tissues

Active Release Technique was founded by Dr. Michael Leahy in 1985 and is now used in sports organizations across the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLS, and UFC. Multiple large corporations throughout the country have also contracted with A.R.T. to have a practitioner on staff to improve corporate wellness and allow their employees to work efficiently and pain-free.

How does Active Release Technique resolve soft tissue injuries?

What makes A.R.T. unique relative to other manual therapy techniques is that the assessment is built into the treatment. An A.R.T. practitioner will assess the tension and texture of your muscular in order to determine which specific technique(s) are necessary to resolve your complaint and which type of contact is necessary. Active Release Technique is able to resolve even chronic conditions in just a few sessions because of the specificity of treatment.

What types of injuries can be treated with Active Release Technique?

Active Release Technique was founded on the principle of the Cumulative Injury Cycle. The concept behind this cycle is that if an injury is not treated properly at the right time, then a more chronic and cumulative disorder can occur that requires hands-on A.R.T to resolve. When an area is injury and inflamed, the body will lay down adhesive fibers to attempt to stabilize that area at the cost of soft tissue quality. The previously injured area becomes weak and tense, leads to poor movement biomechanics. When the body does not move efficiently it is more likely to become injured and restart this cycle. 

A.R.T. allows these soft tissue adhesions to be resolved in order for the tissue to heal optimally and become more adaptable.

What does an Active Release Treatment feel like?

Through A.R.T. is a very powerful soft tissue intervention, the specific doctor hands-on contact is placed on the tissues of concern and the patient will generate the tension via their own movement. This active participation of the patient allows for the doctor and patient to work together to resolve the issue with minimal pain or discomfort. A.R.T treatment should feel relieving and relaxing while also therapeutic. There should never be bruising or swelling before, during or after treatment.


Are any other therapies used with Active Release Technique?

A.R.T. is most effectively used in conjunction with both chiropractic adjustments and therapeutic exercise. Chiropractic manipulation is able to ensure and optimal joint environment while A.R.T ensures a stable tissue environment. Once the body is primed for high-quality movement, corrective exercise is crucial to allow the tissues and the joint to adapt to their new capacity. The blend of chiropractic, A.R.T. and corrective exercise leads to not only quick relief of pain but lasting improvements to movement quality and injury prevention


If you would like to book an Active Release Technique session with one of our chiropractic physicians, book online below or give us a call!

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