|WHAT IS ART®? Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue treatment is a manual therapy administered by trained professionals to certain soft tissue structures of the body. The ART soft tissue management system is based on scientific evidence that muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue develop adhesions within and between them as a result of various injuries that include: acute (sudden injury), cumulative (chronic injury) and pressure (due to poor posture). These adhesions cause the motion of muscles or joints to be altered, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms, including pain, weakness, reduced range of motion, numbness and tingling.
Currently there is no division of HealthCare which specializes in the treatment of soft tissue related disorders. There isn't even a name for a doctor who specializes in the treatment of muscle related and soft tissue disorders...that was until A.R.T.® soft tissue treatment was invented. There is now hope for many who have visited every health professional but were told to just live with the pain.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF ART®? Michael Leahy, D.C., currently practicing in Colorado Springs, Colorado started developing ART in 1984. Prior to practicing chiropractic, Dr. Leahy was an aeronautical engineer with the US Air Force. This engineering background allowed Dr. Leahy to approach soft tissue injuries from a new perspective, evolving into ART. Dr. Leahy is now widely regarded as a top soft tissue expert in the United States and the world.
WHAT IS TREATMENT LIKE? After a diagnosis has been reached based on a history and examination, treatment can be rendered. Since soft tissue injuries created by scar tissue cannot be detected by a machine (such as X-ray or MRI), or by any orthopedic tests, ART is itself a diagnostic tool. The practitioner can determine where the adhesions are, and how severe the soft tissue injury is, simply by his/her touch.
ART is generally performed with a direct contact from the doctor to the patient's skin. The practitioner will find the area to be worked on and either have the patient actively move a body part or passively move the body part for the patient. The practitioner’s contact, coupled with the movement of the patient, allows the adhesions to separate.
DOES ART® HURT? ART goes right after the sights of adhesion in order to break up the scar tissue creating the pain and dysfunction. Since these sights are very sensitive to begin with, ART may create some discomfort described by many patients as a “good hurt”. However, pressure is never applied beyond the patient’s tolerance.
HOW LONG DOES TREATMENT TAKE? Each patient is different. On average, between 4-12 visits (each lasting about 15 - 30 minutes) are required for correction of soft tissue problems. Factors that affect this range include severity of the problem, your willingness to participate in your treatment, and your overall health status. Patients must take an active role in their recovery to help reduce the chances of reoccurrence. This may involve strengthening an area or mediation of certain activities.
ART is considered one of the most effective and successful therapies for soft tissue injuries. However, like all other techniques ART can’t fix everything. If significant improvement is not seen during the course of treatment, other treatments or referrals will be considered to fully resolve your injury. We do not encourage ongoing treatments if no improvement is seen within 4-12 visits.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM ART®? The quick answer to this is anyone who is in pain due to a soft tissue injury. ART is used in a clinical setting on professional athletes, Olympic athletes, office workers, laborers, housewives, youth athletes, as well as many others. What these people all have in common is altered movement patterns, but their mechanism or cause is different. Conservative treatments such as ART should be explored before a person has decided they cannot be helped for their given condition. You don’t have to live with pain! If it’s a soft tissue structure that is causing your pain, it can most likely be fixed.
WHO CAN PROVIDE ART®? Only those certified in Active Release Techniques can effectively render treatment. You can call the Active Release Home Office in Colorado Springs at 888-396-2727 or access the web site at www.activereleasetechniques.com for verification of credentials, or you can ask the ART provider to show you their certificates.
HOW DOES ART® IMPROVE PERFORMANCE? Performance of any task such as golfing, typing, or running can be improved significantly with ART by restoring proper muscle function and movement to allow the body to perform at its most efficient level. Adhesions create drag and tension which requires more energy and effort to accomplish a desired movement. Reaction times can also be improved as muscle function is improved.