Active Release Technique (ART) is a hands-on therapy designed specifically to treat sore muscles and damaged tissues. Fibrous adhesions are produced in an injury or when a muscle is deprived of oxygen. The adhesions act like tiny dabs of glue sticking to muscle fibers and between connective tissues, preventing the sliding movements that normally occur between healthy tissues. Adhesions limit muscle or joint movement and can create abnormal or painful motion. Adhesions to a nerve can cause numbness, tingling, or radiating pain. 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.
ART providers utilize highly developed tactile skills and knowledge of physiological symptom patters to locate scar tissue adhesions on and in between muscles and nerves. A precise hand or thumb contact is applied to the correct area (tension to the tissue), and the patient is directed to move the effected region of the body through a specific range of motion (muscle is shortened then lengthened). This causes the internal tissues to slide under the ART provider’s contact. This technique has been proven to rapidly break up scar tissue and yield recovery of many types of soft tissue conditions found in the work place. ART is quite different than any type of massage, acupressure, or myofascial release technique.
While healing remains an inexact science, we believe in practicing according to evidence-based guidelines. Conservative management approaches that use a combination of exercise therapy, soft tissue treatment, and spinal manipulation have been demonstrated to be effective means of treating back and neck pain and have been shown to help people avoid surgery, even if they were already considered surgical candidates. Because of our comprehensive treatment approach, including the highly acclaimed soft tissue treatment called Active Release Technique, the physicians at Boise Spine Center are qualified to treat all musculoskeletal injuries, including the extremities.