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Active Release Technique

Our Knoxille Sports Chiropractic Physician, Dr. Bert, uses a non-invasive technique called active release technique (ART) developed by Colorado chiropractor Michael Leahy. Dr. Bert is very experienced in the technique, and has been ART-certified for over 10 years, and has helped many runners, athletes, and other patients by using this technique. ART was initially used mostly by professional athletes, but it has now become much more mainstream for overuse injuries. It is a very popular technique still with athletes, particularly those in endurance sports like long-distance running or triathlons. Repetitive strain injuries add up to a whopping $100 billion annually in time away from work, reduced productivity, and workers’ compensation claims.

What is Active Release Technique (ART)?

ART, or Active Release Technique, is a hands-on soft-tissue technique, which has been proven effective for accurately defining soft tissue conditions and effectively treating repetitive strain conditions and cumulative trauma disorders, in a relatively short time-frame, without requiring several months of ongoing therapy.

ART is a soft-tissue manipulation technique aimed at manually breaking up the scar tissue (adhesions) that form after an injury; the adhesions entrap muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, causing numbness, weakness, reduced nerve conduction, reduced oxygen to the tissues (hypoxia), pain and lost range of motion. In overuse injuries, tissues accumulate small tears (microtrauma) that over time can lead to acute pulls and tears with scar tissue formation. The technique is similar to massage but it is more productive in releasing myofascial adhesions.

Depending on the injury, Dr. Bert will use ART in the specific area of complaint. You will be able to feel the adhesion release, and the results are typically instantaneous. Follow-up treatments are usually required to maintain the improvements. Leahy himself claims a 96 percent success rate (defined as being able to return to work) in 8,000 cases he has personally treated.

Chiropractors have effectively used ART for a whole host of conditions: carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, supraspinatus tendon injuries, rotator cuff injuries, tennis elbow, and golfer’s elbow. All of these injuries are in areas where soft tissue is located near joints, so scarring can reduce range of motion.

In a recent published study, ART was found to be effective for reducing neck pain and increasing neck range of motion in individuals with chronic neck pain. Most chronic neck pain sufferers have pain and limited movement because of soft tissue impairment in the neck.

Dr. Bert sees patients of all backgrounds and walks of life. If you know or suspect you have adhesions from an overuse injury, call us today for a consultation to see if ART can provide you with relief.

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