About Active Release Techniques (ART):
Active Release Technique (ART) Treats Soft
Tissue Injuries, Relieves Pain, And Restores Normal Tissue Function
ART is a new and extremely effective approach to treating soft
tissue injuries and the resulting pain. It is a patented method of
treatment developed by Dr. Michael Leahy and is utilized by more than
3500 certified providers, including medical doctors, chiropractors,
physical therapists, and athletic trainers worldwide. The technique is
very popular with professional athletes and teams (NFL, NHL, NBA, etc.)
and is used regularly by amateur and professional athletes alike, not
only to help with rapid injury recovery, but also for improving their
athletic performance. In recent years this method of treatment has
begun to gain recognition among the general public as well, as more
certified practitioners utilizing ART have entered the healthcare arena.
As a Full-Body & Biomechanics certified ART provider and instructor, a Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner (CCSP), and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Dr. Hamid Sadri
provides the highest standards of care in structural, biomechanical,
and soft tissue treatments by combining his more than 20 years of
Chiropractic experience with ART, Trigenics, Graston Technique, Total
Motion Release (TMR) Physiological Therapeutics, and Exercise Rehab.
Biomechanics and Physiology of Injury
Acute trauma or overuse, sometimes referred to as Repetitive Strain
Injury or RSI, are generally the common causes of insult to the soft
tissue (muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, joint capsules, fascia,
etc.). Many of the routine daily activities performed at work or home
or while playing sports can result in accumulative injuries to soft
tissues. Some common examples of these activities/conditions are:
- Typing, keyboarding or repeated use of a mouse (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
- Running/Jogging (Shin Splints, Plantar Fasciitis, Knee & Hip pain, Tendonitis)
- Prolonged standing (Heel Pain, Leg Pain, Thigh And Back Pain)
- Prolonged sitting (Buttock And Lower Back Pain, Priformis Syndrome)
- Repetitive wrist/forearm flexion/extension/rotation (Tennis Elbow, Golfer's Elbow)
- Repetitive & prolonged shoulder rotation (Swimmer's Shoulder, Rotator Cuff Tears)
- Repetitive bending & lifting (Low Back Pain, Sciatica, Muscle Strain)
- Sleeping on the stomach (Neck pain, Upper Back Pain, Cervicobrachial Syndrome)
- Poor Posture (Tension Headaches, Back pain, Neck pain, Arm & Leg pain)
- All athletic activities can result in RSI's (Tendonitis, Sprains/Strains, Myofascitis)
- Many other conditions/complaints/injuries, all of which can not be listed here
These injuries will result in a series of physiological responses:
The initial physiological response by the body is swelling or "Inflammation"
in the affected area/tissue. During this phase the circulation and
accumulation of fluids within the injured tissue is increased as the
body begins to control the damage and remove irritants form the site of
injury. The inflammation will lead to increased tension and internal
pressure within the injured tissue and the surrounding structures.
In an attempt to heal the injury and stabilize the area, the body will begin the "Repair"
process. Fibroblasts begin to create fibrous tissues. This generally
consists of laying down of fibrotic scar tissue and adhesions in and
around the injured structures. This scar tissue is generally a lower
grade of tissue than the original one and is both functionally and
structurally deficient, lacking elasticity and limiting proper
circulation and function. As circulation is reduced, tissue hypoxia
(decreased oxygen) develops.
During the final 2 phases of "Remodeling" and "Maturation"
the body is simply attempting to organize and orient the newly formed
fibers so as to restore the injured tissue closer to its natural state.
Unfortunately, as miraculous as the body is, it does a poor job in
tissue restoration. The final result is a tougher, less elastic,
shortened and therefore weakened tissue, which causes restriction of
motion between muscle layers as well as nerves. For the athlete, this
means poorer performance and less than desirable results. For the
general public and athlete both, this means pain and discomfort at the
site of injury; or in the case of peripheral nerve entrapments which
are commonly caused after such injuries, pain, numbness and tingling
radiating into the arms or legs. The resulting pain typically will
start a process of "compensatory change", which will begin affecting
other tissues and structures in that kinetic chain.
How Can ART Help?
ART is a form of hands-on or "Manual Therapy". It is a method of
locating and treating the injured/affected soft tissue so that the
process of "Repair, Remodeling, and, Maturation" produces a better
outcome in a shorter period of time. Clinical findings indicate that
mechanical loading techniques such as ART help produce increased wound
healing ALONG the lines of the injured
tissue. As a result the healed structure is not only stronger and more
resistant to future injury, but it also has improved functionality.
According to the latest research, Immobilization or bracing which is
commonly used after traumatic injuries results in a prolonged healing
time as well as a weaker healed tissue. Contrary to the above approach,
ART combines both passive and active Range of Movement (ROM) in its
treatment protocols. Its specific approach allows for differentiation
between various structures, thereby allowing the practitioner to locate
and treat the CORRECT structure. Combining the manual loading technique
with the proper ROM and the specificity of locating and treating the
correct anatomical structure allows for the break up of fibrotic
tissues and their proper realignment during the healing cycle. ART
provides very specific treatment protocols for over 300 muscular
injuries and 100 peripheral nerve entrapments as well as many tendonous
and ligamentous injuries. This is what sets ART apart from all other
soft tissue techniques and has caused many world class athletes and
athletic professionals to turn to this method of treatment for help.