Is there ART in physical therapy?
We think so. At the right time in your healing OR on the tissues that are especially tight, active release can be amazing! Here is a short description, written by Emily Johnson, PT.
Scroll down to the bottom of the article to watch three short video clips where Emily demonstrates ART for a stiff neck on a patient.
Active Release is a hands-on soft tissue treatment technique. Although it was originally developed by a chiropractor, it has become increasingly popular amongst numerous other rehabilitation professionals including massage therapists and physiotherapists. Active Release provides an effective method for resolving injury to muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves (soft tissues).
Soft tissue injuries are extremely common and can result from both acute trauma( tears, sprains, strains) as well as from chronic or cumulative exposure to micro-trauma (repetitive strain injuries, postural syndromes and tendonitis). When healthy tissue is exposed to either form of injury, inflammation develops in the area. Although inflammation occurs as part of the body’s natural healing process, it also leads to the development of scar tissue and adhesions. Healthy tissues are strong and move smoothly, but tissues with scarring or adhesions will become shorter, weaker and bound up with surrounding structures/tissues. This can lead to pain, weakness and nerve entrapment/pinching.
Active Release tends to be more effective at ridding the body of scar tissue than stretching or deep tissue work alone, as the tissue is “active” during treatment. When treating a muscle for example, tension is applied to the muscle (manually) by the therapist, while the patient performs an action that will take the muscle from a shortened position to a lengthened or stretched position. This allows the specific area of injury (scar tissue) to receive the maximum tension rather than having that force distribute throughout the muscle.
Active Release is extremely effective for treating athletes and the more active population ( that’s you, residents of Squamish!!!). It provides immediate relief of symptoms, and for most injuries should require no more than three treatment sessions. Although it is effective for all types of soft tissue injury, it is one of the more effective ways of treating repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, tennis & golf elbow, postural pain etc.
For more information on Active Release Techniques visit the A.R.T website:www.Activerelease.com, or book an appointment with your local provider at Reach Physiotherapy Solutions.
Watch this short video as Emily discusses the potential use of ART for the patient’s stiff neck. This patient’s situation is typical of ART clients…