Active Release Technique ™
Active Release Technique (ART) is a patented, state of the art movement-based soft tissue technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. Conditions such as headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee injuries, and tennis elbow are just some of the conditions that active release therapy can help with.
What does soft tissue consist of?
In the body, there are five main kinds of soft tissue. Think of them as the glue that holds the human body together. These soft tissue types are as follows:
- Muscle: There are further three kinds of muscles. Visceral, or smooth, muscles surround the body’s hollow organs. This gives them the ability to expand and contract as needed. Cardiac muscle is the muscle of the heart. Striated, or skeletal, muscle is attached to bones. It helps keep the skeleton together.
- Fat: Fat protects your inner systems by cushioning them. It also insulates you against the cold. It is the body’s stored energy reserve.
- Fibrous and synovial tissue: Fibrous soft tissue is found in tendons and ligaments. It helps you control movement. It allows for much of your body’s strength and flexibility. Synovial tissue is found in joints and fluid sacs in the knees and elbows.
- Blood and lymph vessels: Blood vessels consist of veins, arteries, and capillaries. These transport food, oxygen and waste around the body. Lymph vessels transport minerals and nutrients around the body. They also carry damaged or cancerous cells and bacteria.
- Peripheral nerves: These nerves run from the central nervous system to the rest of the body. The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord.
The injuries listed above are all likely due to overuse. Overused tissues have damage based on three factors: acute conditions, accumulation of small tears and/or not getting enough oxygen, also known as hypoxia. Scar tissue is produced as a result of any or all of these factors and this contributes to loss of motion, strength and perhaps numbness, tingling or weakness.
Conditions Treated with Active Release:
How can they be treated?
Soft tissue injuries can be treated with physiotherapy and chiropractic care. Mostly they are treated using the RICE method. RICE is short for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Heat should be avoided in the first 48-72 hours as it promotes inflammation. In the event of an injury, this method should serve as your primary course of action.
Usually, people think spinal adjustment when chiropractic care is brought up. But a chiropractor does not require adjustment to be truly helpful with a soft tissue injury. In chiropractic care, soft tissue injuries are treated manually. Kneading and massage are employed, either by hand or with a mechanical device. The aim is to reduce pain and inflammation.
Soft tissue injuries should not be taken lightly, even if the pain and inflammation seem to have receded. True recovery can take up to four to eight weeks. Best to visit a physiotherapist or chiropractor in time.
*Did You Know Our Chiropractor Dr. Matharu is certified in active release therapy and is able to provide you with a thorough assessment. From here, she can determine the best course of action on how to incorporate this extremely effective technique into your treatment plan to bring you back to health!