Friday, January 20, 2006

What is Active Release Techniques (ART)?

What is it?

ART is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue system 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.
(Taken directly from the ART website,

How does it work?

At the most basic level, ART works by breaking up scar tissue, muscle adhesions and restrictions, muscular spasm and tightness. The mechanism by which it does this is for the examiner to put a muscle in it's most shortened position (through movement of the nearby joints), then apply a tension with his/her thumb or fingers, and while maintaining that tension he/she will lengthen the muscle throughout it's range of motion. In this way, any adhesions or scar tissue is broken up along the entire length of the muscle.

How it is different from other treatments?

The most significant difference between ART and other treatments is the shortening and lengthening of the muscle. Other treatments involve a muscle being at it's resting length, and then pressure is applied in the area of pain or irritation, such as trigger-point technique or massage. While these treatments can be very effective, some times a muscular adhesion or scar tissue is at an insertion that is concealed or covered by other bony or muscular structures. In order to reach these areas, a muscle needs to be moved through it's range of motion in order for these more difficult points to be reached.

Who can it help?

ART is effective for any condition of the musculoskeletal system. With over 500 muscular protocols, there is a move for almost every muscle and ligament in the body.

For more information, visit