What common conditions does ART treat?
ART has over 500 specific protocols to treat muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries as well as nerve entrapments throughout the body. A partial list of conditions successfully treated with ART is below:
What separates Active Release Techniques from other therapies?
- ART is not deep tissue massage therapy
Although ART and massage therapy work extremely well together as adjunctive therapies, massage therapy often does not effectively deal with muscular adhesions and scar tissue. Deep tissue massage uses a stripping motion or deep pressure to try to smash the adhesion which can be very painful. ART uses a lighter pressure combined with active lengthening of involved muscles to develop greater tension into the adhesions or scar tissue. This creates increased friction to break the adhesions up, is much less painful, and has longer lasting results. Scar tissue adhesion is very resilient. It is incredibly difficult to break up by ‘smashing’ it – a bit like trying to break up a piece of bubble gum by stepping on it repeatedly. It is just too elastic, resilient, and sticky. Only by generating high amounts of tension rather than just pressure can the adhesion be effectively and permanently removed.
Most soft tissue techniques also do not follow the entire length of the soft tissue structure nor do they identify restrictions at different depths and levels of the tissue. ART aims to return complete motion and function to the full length of the affected soft tissue and its nearby structures. This means complete freedom of motion for the entire restricted structure in relationship to all adjacent structures!
- ART is not Physical Therapy
Physical Therapy (PT) involves manual therapies, therapeutic exercises and stretches, and the application of electro-physical modalities, like ultrasound. Although these are valuable procedures often integral in injury stabilization and prevention of future flare-ups, they are generally inadequate at resolving the underlying problems caused by scar tissue.
Is ART similar to deep massage?
No, ART is very specific and the results achieved utilizing this technique are much more predictable.
What is treatment like and is it painful?
ART is non-invasive, very safe, and has virtually no side effects. It comes with a record of very good results. In the beginning, treatments can be uncomfortable during the movement phases, (depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s pain tolerance). The discomfort is temporary, however, and subsides almost immediately after the treatment. It is common to feel a duplication of your symptoms during the treatment, a good indication that the problem has been identified.
Who can benefit from ART?
ART originally built its reputation on success with elite triathlon participants. From there its reputation spread throughout the sporting world, as elite athletes from a variety of sports traveled great distances to be treated by the few ART providers. As a larger network of ART providers has developed, reports of ART’s effectiveness has spread to the workplace and the common person dealing with many different soft tissue injuries. Though anyone can develop soft tissue injuries through trauma, stress, or overuse of muscles, the following individuals are especially likely to develop these problems and experience results with ART treatment:
|Assembly line workers
Tennis and Racquet Sports Players
Since ART has no contraindications, it can be applied to patients of all ages as well as pre and post surgical patients and pregnant women.
How long do the treatments take?
Plan on an hour for your initial visit including consultation, history, examination, and X-rays if indicated. Subsequent ART treatments usually take 5 to 20 minutes depending on the condition.
How soon can I expect results?
In most cases, patients experience positive results after the first treatment. This may be an increased range of motion, less pain, increased muscle strength, or decreased numbness and tingling.
Can I benefit from ART even if I’m being evaluated and treated by other doctors and specialists?
Only a provider experienced and trained in ART can determine if you might benefit from this treatment. Many cases seen by ART providers are patients who have been treated by other health care providers unsuccessfully. Most of these patients are happily surprised when they experience an improvement in their condition after just one or two treatments.
Once my problem has been corrected, what are the chances of my symptoms returning?
The likelihood of the condition recurring is very low. Dr. Leahy reported a recurrence rate of only 4% in his carpal tunnel study, of which half (2%), had not followed through with their exercises. Once the ART practitioner has released the restrictive adhesions between tissues, post-treatment exercises become a critical part of the healing process and act to ensure the injury does not return.
What kind of exercises do I need to do after ART has solved my problems?
Exercises are designed for the individual based on the type and level of severity of the injury and related areas. All exercises include consideration of strength, flexibility, balance and cardiovascular function. Dr. Underwood will give you specific exercise protocols.
Why haven’t I heard of ART before?
ART has been known throughout the elite and professional sports world for years as an excellent tool for rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. Other than the sports world, there have not been enough people trained in ART to make a big impact. Proficiency at ART takes time to develop, with a substantial commitment of effort and resources to become a provider. There is a small, but growing, number of providers that have been personally trained and credentialed by Dr. Leahy, the developer of the technique.