Understanding Active Release Technique for Pain Management

Understanding Active Release Technique for Pain Management

Active release technique (ART), a patented, evidence-based, and soft tissue treatment, focuses on eliminating the cause of pain instead of merely covering up symptoms. A significant number of patients suffering from chronic pain related to soft tissue disorders have reported relief with ART. This article delves into the intricacies of this technique and explores its benefits in pain management.

What Is Active Release Technique (ART)?

Active Release Technique is a manual therapy mainly designed for soft tissue system recovery. This technique involves the removal of scar tissue, which can cause pain, stiffness, muscle weakness, and abnormal sensations. ART is performed by hand to reduce fibrous adhesions and restore proper motion and function. As a result of ART, muscles, joints, and nerves can move freely again, contributing to faster healing of injuries.

How Does Active Release Technique Work?

Active Release Technique works by breaking up adhesions, which are dense collections of scar tissue that form when muscles and connective tissues get injured. Adhesions limit flexibility, causing pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. Sometimes, adhesions can also entrap nerves, leading to further complications.

The manipulation of the soft tissues through ART breaks up the adhesions, promoting blood flow, and allowing your muscles, joints, and nerves to move freely again. During an ART session, healthcare providers identify and target the scar tissue, manipulating it to break it up and restore proper blood flow so the area can heal.

Conditions Treated with Active Release Technique

ART is effective in treating a wide range of health conditions related to soft tissues, including:

  • Lower back pain
  • Chronic neck pain
  • Tension headaches
  • Shoulder strains, including frozen shoulder
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Shin splints
  • Sciatic nerve pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Bursitis
  • Tennis elbow

ART for Chronic Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain is a common issue affecting a large number of individuals. The pain may result from mechanical dysfunction causing abnormal joint movement, inflammation across a band of fascia tissue, strains and pulls from overuse or trauma affecting any major muscle groups, or injury to tendons and ligaments. ART has been found to be extremely beneficial in treating chronic neck pain.

Research on ART for Neck Pain

According to a study conducted by J Phys Ther Sci, ART significantly improved the visual analog scale (VAS) pain score, pressure pain threshold (PPT), and neck range of motion (ROM) in patients suffering from chronic neck pain.

In the study, subjects were divided into three groups: an ART group, a joint mobilization (JM) group, and a control group. After the intervention, both the ART and JM groups demonstrated significant changes in VAS and ROM, while no significant change was observed in the control group. Significant differences in the PPT of all muscles were found in the ART group, indicating that ART can effectively relieve chronic neck pain and improve range of motion.

Benefits of Active Release Technique

ART offers many benefits for individuals suffering from pain and other symptoms caused by soft tissue injuries. These include:

  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Decreased lower back and neck pain
  • Relief of tension headaches
  • Management of carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Management of shin splints
  • Management of plantar fasciitis
  • Management of tennis elbow
  • Improvement of sciatic symptoms

Today’s Integrative Health – Active Release Technique

Active Release Technique can be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions and injuries of the soft tissues, such as overuse and sports injuries. It can help relieve pain and stiffness and help restore your range of motion so you can return to your favorite activities. At Today’s Integrative Health, we have certified ART providers who can help you manage your pain and improve your quality of life. To learn more about how ART can benefit you, give us a call at 301-770-6650.

Remember, your health is our top priority. We’re here to provide you with the personalized care you need to live a healthier, happier life.

Picture of Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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