Active Release Techniques (ART) are a soft tissue method that focuses on
relieving tissue tension via the removal of fibrosis/adhesions which can
develop in tissues as a result of overload due to repetitive use. These
disorders may lead to muscular weakness, numbness, aching, tingling and
burning sensations. ART has been reported to be both a diagnostic and a
ART is used to treat symptoms with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Its design is 3 fold:
- to restore free and unimpeded motion of all soft tissues
- to release entrapped nerves, vasculature and lymphatics
- to re-establish optimal texture, resilience and function of soft tissues.
Tissues are prone to negative changes from trauma, such as swelling, fibrosis and adhesions. During treatment, the clinician uses manual therapy to apply compressive, tensile and shear forces to address repetitive strain injuries, cumulative trauma injuries and constant pressure tension lesions. The clinician applies deep tension at the area of tenderness while the patient is instructed to actively move the injury site from a shortened to a lengthened position. The combination of placing of a contact point near the lesion and having the patient move in a manner that produces a longitudinal sliding motion of soft tissues, will allow nerves, ligaments and muscles beneath the contact point to reduce in tension and inflammation. This allows for a healing of the damaged region and reduce pain.