Active Release Techniques - A Very Successful Type of Hands-On Treatment

By: Active Sports Therapy

ART stands for Active Release Techniques.  It is a highly successful hands-on treatment method that addresses problems in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.  ART treatment has great success in dealing with soft tissue injuries because it is specifically designed to locate and treat scar tissue adhesions that accumulate in the muscles and surrounding soft tissues.

You can think of an ART treatment as a type of active massage. The practitioner will first shorten the muscle, tendon, or ligament, and then apply a very specific pressure with their hand as you actively stretch and lengthen the tissues.  As the tissue lengthens the practitioner is able to assess the texture and tension of the muscle to determine if the tissue is healthy or contains scar tissue that needs further treatment. When scar tissue adhesions are felt the amount and direction of tension can be modified to treat the problematic area. In this sense, each treatment is also an assessment of the health of the area as we are able to feel specifically where the problem is occurring.

An additional benefit of ART is it allows us to further assess and correct problems not only at the site of pain itself, but also in other areas of the kinetic chain, which are associated with movement compensations and are often contributing factors to the problem. This ensures that all the soft tissues that have become dysfunctional and are contributing to the specific injury are addressed, even if they have not yet all developed pain.

One of the best things about ART is how fast it can get results. In our experience, there are many types of injuries that respond very well to ART treatment, especially when combined with the appropriate home stretching and strengthening exercises. Although each case is unique and there are several factors that will determine the length of time required to fully resolve each condition, we usually find a significant improvement can be gained in just 4-6 treatments.

Here’s a list of common problems that our chiropractors are equipped to treat using Active Release Techniques. You may be surprised to learn that our chiropractors can treat more than just your back!

Achilles Tendonitis, Ankle Injuries,Back Pain / Injuries, Bicipital Tendonitis, Bursitis. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Compartment Syndrome, Foot Pain and Injury, Frozen Shoulder, Gait Imbalances, Golf Injuries, Golfer’s Elbow (Tendonitis), Hand Injuries, Headaches, Hip Pain, Hyperflexion Injuries, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Impingement Syndrome, Joint Dysfunction, Knee and Leg Pain, Knee Meniscal Injuries, Muscle Pulls or Strains, Muscle Weakness, Myofascitis, Neck Pain, Nerve Entrapment, Syndromes, Repetitive Strain Injuries, Plantar Fasciitis, Post – Surgical, Restrictions, Running Injuries, Rib Pain, Rotator Cuff Syndrome, Shin Splints, Scar Tissue Formation, Sciatica, Swimmer’s Shoulder, Shoulder Pain, Sports Injuries, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Tendonitis / Tendonosis, Tennis Elbow,Weight Lifting Injuries, Throwing Injuries, TMJ, Whiplash.

Book an appointment today with one of our ART trained Chiropractors. 

*This blog is not intended to officially establish a physician-patient relationship, to replace the services of a trained physician, naturopathic doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor or otherwise to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  

The Humble Yet Important Wrist.

By Sarah Kuindersma, M.A.T Muscle Activation Techniques, PTS,

Our hands are in high demand and often taken for granted. We type, we text, we lift, and grip throughout the day, without taking a moment to appreciate the humble wrist. This humble wrist makes most of our day-to-day activities possible. It is important that we make sure that our wrists and elbows have adequate strength and mobility, similar to other parts of our bodies such as knees and shoulders. Without this strength and mobility we are vulnerable to stiff wrists or worse nagging pain with simple activities.   

The wrist is an elaborate structure which allows for the broad range of movements it can perform. To avoid pain and recover quickly from a wrist injury, focus on developing strength in your wrists while maintaining excellent range of motion. How does one do this? 

This is where we are here to help, below are a few exercises that can help improve wrist mobility, release tension quickly, and build grip strength to keep your wrists healthy and pain free. 

Wrist Mobility Drills 

The following is an easy 5 minute routine you can do at your desk for your wrist.  

  1. Fist revs: visualize revving your motor bike. Have your elbows bent forearms parallel to the floor. Make a fist, and slowly pull the wrists up hold for a second before curling the wrists down. Perform 8-10 times  
  2. Fist extension to finger extension: start in the same position, with your fists closed, pull the fists up hold while you extend the fingers up to the ceiling, hold for a second make a fist and return the start. Perform 8-10 times  
  3. Wrist Flexion Pulls: Start in the same position, this time have your fingers straight, point your hand to the floor, from here curl your fingers into a fist. Use your opposite hand to gently pull. Hold for 2-3 seconds before releasing and repeating. Perform 4-5 reps/side  
  4. Hammer Curls: Start in the same position, this time turn your wrists made into fists to face each other. Slowly pull the thumbs towards you then push them away. Perform 4-5 reps. After you can then curl the fists in towards each other and then away. Perform 4-5 reps.  
  5. Open Palm Wrist Circles: hold onto one wrist, open your hand and start to make a full circle at the wrist. Perform 3-4 circles one way then rev direction and repeat.  
  6. Prayer hands: Place your hands in the praying position, then slowly lower the hands pressed into each other. Hold the stretch for 2-3 seconds repeat 4 times then repeat with the hands flipped in a rev pray. This time you are slowly raising the wrists up to feel a stretch.  
  7. Clench and release: squeeze your fist tight hold 2-3 seconds then shake the hands out. Repeat 4-5 times.

Watch these exercises for a visual reference:

Experiencing wrist pain ? Try these exercises - YouTube 

*Disclaimer: Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. If you experience any numbness, tingling or reproduction of your symptoms, please contact your doctor or physiotherapist .  

Median Nerve Floss  

If you are experiencing numbness down the hand, it could be due to pressure on the median nerve, usually due to repetitive usage of the wrist. 

The following exercise is a nerve mobilization exercise to help decrease inflammation and pain by alleviating the pressure on the never. You can do this seated or standing.  

  1. Bring one arm up like you are going to flex your bicep. Relax the bicep and turn the palm of your hand towards your ear.  
  2. Imagine there is a string attached from your middle finger to the top of your ear. As you straighten your elbow your ear moves down to your shoulder.  
  3. To start keep your hand in line with your wrist, to advance this exercise you can pull your fingers and palm back like your spiderman about to shoot a web.  

Watch Median Nerve Floss : January 20, 2022 - YouTube

Relieving Wrist Pain with Muscle Activation Techniques  

Wanting to alleviate wrist pain in a different way? Have you tried M.A.T. Muscle Activation Techniques?

M.A.T. assess your movement mechanics to identify potential faulty movement mechanics leading to chronic strain creating the pain. M.A.T. then activates the muscles or rather creates a repatterning of movement patterns so your wrist can better handle the force applied to it through everyday movements and exercises.  

Call to book in with our in house M.A.T. Specialist Sarah Kuindersma today, at Active Sports Therapy 403-278-1405

Prefer to book online? Take advantage of our online booking system at

Want to learn more about M. A. T. ? Watch this video   

Wrist Pain

Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Massage

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]By: Active Sports Therapy

Whether it’s your first massage or your fiftieth it’s important to know these few tips to help you get the most out of your treatment. We recommend a monthly massage for everyone from a maintenance perspective and more often if you suffer from a chronic condition.

Arrive on time, or even a few minutes early. If you arrive in a rush or panic about being late, it’ll take you that much longer to settle in to your massage. Of course if you are late, your therapist might have to cut it short in order to make his or her next session.

Try not to eat too much or too heavy a meal right before your massage. A light snack to make sure you’re not thinking about your growling belly should do the trick.

Some people are not sure if they should remove all of their clothing and others are just not comfortable with the idea. The main thing is that you are comfortable, and that the therapist is able to access the areas of the body that they will need to work on.

Don’t be afraid to communicate with your therapist. Prior to your session, there may be a questionnaire to fill out and the therapist might do a quick Q and A with you if you are a new patient. Tell your therapist accurate information about your health or injury history and during the massage feel free to tell you therapist if you feel like the pressure is too much, too little, or even if there’s a specific spot you’d like them to work on. It’s your time so if the room is too hot or cold, the music isn’t the right volume, or the lights or too bright you can ask your therapist to adjust those conditions as well.

Ensure you are breathing throughout the massage. If you’re holding your breath, you’re likely to tense up. Perhaps it’s a painful area that is making you hold your breath but we assure you, breathing through it is always better. If you can’t get your mind to settle, breathing can help with this too. Try to focus on why you’re there and thank yourself for taking the time to give your body what it needs.

Do you like to chat or do you enjoy the silence? Generally, it’s your choice to do what you like and your therapist will let you be the boss of this.

Your therapist will likely tell you to take your time getting up at the end of the massage. Please take their advice as you may be a little dizzy or light-headed post massage.

Drink plenty of water post-massage to flush any extra toxins that have been released during your massage. Massages can also be dehydrating as the kneading of muscles can get fluid pumping out of your muscles and into your circulatory system.

Re-book your next appointment before you leave to help you stay on a massage schedule for life![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

5 Surprising Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]The first thing most people think of when you talk about massage therapy is relaxation. While this is absolutely a benefit of getting a massage, there are many more reasons that might surprise you. At Active Sports Therapy we recommend that everyone makes time for a monthly massage because it has immediate positive effects on the individual, as well as cumulative long-term benefits.

Eases Muscle Pain

If your muscles are sore, then massage can really help you. Having a massage increases and improves your circulation. Increased circulation can bring much needed blood flow to stiff and tense muscles to help promote healing, range of motion, and flexibility. The different techniques used in massage therapy can also reduce the amount of lactic acid in the muscle tissues and improve lymph fluid circulation.

Helps with Anxiety and Depression

Massage therapy has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitters which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and sadness. Human contact is important for people who suffer from anxiety and a nurturing touch via massage therapy is just that.

Gives Your Immune System a Boost

We know that people who are prone to stress are also prone to sickness and illness. With a regular massage you may see a reduction in stress and studies show that the body can often experience a boost in your systems ability to get and stay well post-massage. This is due to the increase in the activity level of the body’s white blood cells that can help a person fight off illness.

Assists with Headache Management

Many people, especially in our city, suffer from headaches and migraine headaches. Although everyone’s headache triggers are different, stress, muscle tension, and poor sleep are among the top triggers. With the effects of a massage sometimes lasting for weeks, people with frequent headaches should seek regular massages as each of the above triggers can be addressed in a session.

Reduces Blood Pressure

It has been found that regular visits to a massage therapist can indeed reduce blood pressure levels. Other studies have also cited a reduction in cortisol, which is better known as the body’s stress hormone that often leads to multiple health issues when it is in excess.

Please speak to your health care provider to find out if massage therapy is right for you. At Active Sports Therapy our Registered Massage Therapists can provide a variety of different methods, techniques, and styles of massage. We are sue to have the right therapist to address your concern.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Add 'Cupping' to Your Massage for Great Results

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Cupping is a practice with ancient roots. One of the oldest medical textbooks in existence, The Ebers Papyrus, speaks of cupping being used in Egyptian cultures in 1,550 B.C. In all forms of Cupping Therapy, a vacuum is created by having a therapist place special cups on your skin to create suction.

When the vacuum in the cup is applied to the skin, it sucks the soft tissue with negative pressure, for a powerful and stimulating massage like sensation. The suction works to relax stiff muscles and tissue, and promotes overall well being, blood flow, and relaxation.

Dynamic Cupping is designed using silicone cups that fit seamlessly into a massage treatment. It uses the same principles of cups; however, silicone cups can mold with any body part, integrating easily without interrupting the flow of the massage.

The four different sizes of cups will allow massage at any contour of the individuals body; including joints and bony prominence's. The client will obtain better results from the lift and space that suction from the cups creates giving them the benefit of massage's typical 'push' along with the cups ability to 'pull.'

Lori Heidt from AST is now certified to provide this treatment![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]