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Active Release Techniques (ART) is a specific, movement based, muscle release system. It deals with muscle and other soft tissue only. Active Release provides a way to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of a variety of conditions collectively called cumulative trauma disorders. These disorders are also known as repetitive stress injuries or "overuse" syndromes. These syndromes are given familiar names like rotator cuff syndrome, tendonitis and plantar fascitis. Other conditions that fall directly into this category are post- operative scar tissue, carpal tunnel, chronic low back pain, and hyper extension/flexion injury (whiplash).
To understand soft tissue injury, you must comprehend the basic mechanism of cumulative injury. Cumulative trauma disorder is the major injury problem in the workforce and the general population in this country. Federal statistics show that it now surpasses back pain, and worsening by 670 percent in the last 5 years. Past therapies such as massage, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, rest, exercise and surgery – have all failed to treat them effectively.” Leahy
Symptoms of cumulative trauma disorders are sensations of tingling, burning, aching and weaknesses. When a muscle, tendon, ligament, or nerve is damaged from trauma or overuse, the body will attempt to repair the damage with scar tissue. These scar tissue adhesions left untreated perpetuate the cumulative injury cycle and result in progressive loss of function and increased pain. Soft tissue dysfunction often leads to a loss of flexibility, strength, and range of motion. People often attribute these losses to "just getting old," but this is seldom the case.
Active Release separates, releases, and stretches the connective tissue adhesions, restores vascular and lymph circulation, and increases your range of motion, flexibility, and strength.
The treatments can be a bit uncomfortable, or even a little painful, but this pain is an important indicator that the problem has been located and signals that the treatments are correcting the injury. Patients often report that it "hurts good."
Regardless of your activity level you can benefit from Active Release. From those who are victims of car accidents -- or even the proud weekend warrior -- Active Release has proven to be a fast, effective, non-invasive way to heal a wide variety of soft tissue injuries.
Throughout an initial examination, we focus on the patient’s specific problem areas, using Active Release to diagnose the presence of abnormal inflammation and scar tissue adhesions. We then discusses findings and recommendations for treatment with the patient. Recommendations include what kind of treatments are necessary, how many treatments are needed, and the prognosis for a complete recovery. We treat the affected area by using Active Release -- a unique combination of pressure, tension, and motion to reduce the scar tissue adhesions, which are causing your pain.
Many patients experience complete recovery after only 5–10 visits, although this depends on the severity of their injuries. Because of the soft tissue component, where other treatments fail, ART succeeds. The bottom line is that patients get well quickly, completely, and with much less expense. In fact because success rates are so high and costs are so low, the Colorado Compensation Insurance Authority is funding a study comparing Active Release to more conventional or typical treatments for cumulative trauma injuries.