Active Release Technique
Last month I had the pleasure of going to an Active Release Technique (ART) seminar for the lower extremity. I enjoy going to these seminars for re-certification because I always learn something new. Usually I find out how to do a protocol a little differently making it more effective or I get a refresher on a forgotten protocol that will help my patient get over the hump.
ART is a very useful patented soft tissue technique. Soft tissue refers to anything that is not bone basically. Muscle, tendon, ligament, nerve, etc.
Active Release Technique moves the structure through its range of motion while the doctor or therapist holds the structures around it (another muscle, fascia, a nerve) in place to break up the adhesions between the two.
Basically, they’re stuck together and they shouldn’t be. Adhesions come from the body healing itself after an injury or overuse. Overuse can either be doing a motion over and over again (repetitive use) or holding a posture for a long time. This causes micro tears in the muscle which the body has to repair and thus creates adhesions.
Conditions that result and can be fixed with ART includes:
- Carpal tunnel like symptoms
- Shoulder pain
- Training injuries
- Mid back pain from working on the computer
- Low back pain
- Iliotibial Band (ITB) syndrome
- Piriformis syndrome
- Knee pain
- Shin splints
- Sprained ankle
- “pinched nerve” or nerve entrapments