What is Active Release Technique (A.R.T.)?

football-player-art-42429586_sInjuries to the soft tissue like torn ligaments, strained muscles and pulled tendons are some of the most common sustained by athletes. While a sprained ankle may not be the worst sports injury that you can imagine, it is still a persistent and pesky one that could throw you off your game. Much like sports hernias, the ways that physicians approach and treat soft tissue injuries vary, as can the results.

Active Release Technique, also known as A.R.T focuses on the connections between muscle systems and uses applied tension and pressure to ease pain and promote recovery. Athletes suffering from a multitude of injuries have the potential to benefit from A.R.T.

Active Release Technique has been used to treat many different injuries, including back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, and tennis elbow, among others. The A.R.T. approach offers best results when treating injuries resulting from overused muscles, which are common in athletes of all ages and skill levels. Overused (and sore) muscles can be a precursor to a sports hernia. Tears in the abdomen or groin muscles can occur if these muscles are compensating for overstressed muscles in other areas.

Soft tissue injuries often produce nonspecific symptoms, resulting in ineffective or prolonged treatment. A.R.T. works in a similar way to traditional physical therapy, but is much more focused and controlled. During an A.R.T. session, an athlete works with the practitioner to pinpoint areas of pressure and pain. Those specific areas are then examined to evaluate the level of stress and range of motion. In order to treat these symptoms, the provider uses focused A.R.T. movements to apply targeted tension and pressure.

The Active Release Technique approach is fairly new, but is quickly becoming more popular with physicians and patients alike. A.R.T. works so well because it allows patients to focus their recovery exactly where it is needed and saves valuable time. Active Release Technique’s effectiveness is also due to its focus on the interconnectedness of the body’s tissues. Using the links between muscles, tendons, and other soft tissue allows providers to target the larger symptoms that may result from small injuries. This is common especially with scar tissue, which can affect a large area.

With a greater focus on finding the source of symptoms, A.R.T. allows patients and providers to work together to resolve injuries more effectively. With this focus, Active Release Technique provides a path to recovery and to get athletes back out onto the field happier and healthier.