Active Release Techniques (ART)

Active Release (ART) is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles. [/fancy_box]  
How do overuse conditions occur?
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:
  • acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
  • accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).
Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.
What is an ART treatment like?
Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements. These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach. At Active Sports Therapy, Dr. Westmacott and Dr. Finan have excellent success using ART to treat all kinds of muscle and soft tissue injuries including, but not limited to the following:
  • Headaches and Neck Pain
  • Upper back stiffness and pain
  • Shoulder pain (Including Frozen Shoulder)
  • Elbow pain (Tennis Elbow and/or Golfer’s Elbow)
  • Wrist pain (Including Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
  • Trigger Finger
  • Low Back Pain
  • Sciatica and Hip Pain
  • Leg pain
  • Knee injuries
  • Shin Splints
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
We are able to have such success with these types of injuries because we focus on finding the cause of your complaint, and treating the injury at the source. This allows the patient to not only get better faster, but in many instances can clear up the injury without re-occurrence. ART treatments require precision manual skills to locate areas of scar tissue, nerve to muscle adhesions, muscle to muscle adhesions, or muscle to tendon adhesions. Precise manual pressure and tension are required as the tissues are moved and motion between tissues is created to release the adhesions. We find the tissue that is injured, and physically work it back to the texture, tension and movement it should have. Restoration of blood flow allows re-oxygenation of the injured area, which speeds recovery as well.  
What is the history of Active Release Techniques?
ART has been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. He now teaches and certifies health care providers all over the world to use ART.