Active Release Technique

ART is an innovative, patented, hands-on soft tissue movement and stretching 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.

How does ART work?

We all experience injuries to our soft tissues from traumatic events or repetitive behaviors that build up over time. These changes create a hypoxic (lack of oxygen) environment leading to scar tissue, muscle adhesions and nerve entrapments. These negative soft tissue responses cause a change in the tissue texture, tension and how the muscle is supposed to move. This leads to discomfort, pain, stiffness and immobility. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

With ART, we use our hands to find these problems and release the tension/scarring to bring blood flow to the area to heal the structure and allow for proper motion, strength and function. In a nutshell, the technique allows our therapists to identify what is impaired (muscle, nerve, tendon, or fascia) while providing expedited relief of the soft tissue restriction. ART allows us to manually release the nerves that are entrapping the blood flow to the muscles which directly causes the pain. By releasing these entrapments, the body naturally repairs itself. This method is much more effective than massage or other hot/cold therapy treatments because it gets to the core of the problem, not just the inflammation. Clients can experience relief almost immediately with improved functional outcomes long term.

What is an ART treatment like?

Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. Our therapists use their 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 our therapists to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual client. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach and has proven to be very successful for Physiofitness clients.