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Press play to watch the video above and discover how ART helps get our patients out of pain.

What exactly is Active Release Technique (A.R.T.)?

ART is a patented, state-of-the-art, soft tissue management system developed by Dr. Michael Leahy (an Air Force engineer/chiropractor) that treats problems occurring with:

  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • Fascia
  • Nerves

Injuries to these tissues can occur in 3 different ways:

Each of these changes causes your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up:

This can result in reduced ranges of motion, loss of strength, and pain. With trapped nerves, you may also feel tingling, numbness, shooting pains, burning sensations, weakness, muscle atrophy and circulatory changes.

Even when most doctors say medications or surgery is the only answer, ART may still be able to resolve the symptoms and put you back on the field or back to work and into your best game.

What happens during an ART treatment?

Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. As an ART Doctor, I use my hands to evaluate the texture, tension, movement and function of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

These treatment protocols – over 500 of them – are unique to ART. They allow us to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

Treatments take about 8-15 minutes for each area being treated. A condition may require 2-12 visits before full functionality is restored. Chiropractic manipulation is frequently carried out in conjunction with cold laser therapy to increase treatment effectiveness (look in tab “knee pain/plantar fasciitis” for more information on cold laser therapy).

Whenever possible, we have our patients perform active movements during the treatment process. Active motions stimulate neurological pathways in the spinal cord that help to reduce pain during treatment. Motion also help to reproduce the stresses the patient will actually be under during normal active motion.

Does ART Hurt?

Active Release Technique is non-invasive, very safe, has virtually no side effects, and has a record of producing very good results. When a soft tissue problem has resolved the symptoms will not return unless the injury happens again. To avoid future injuries, we instruct our patients in specific exercises, give postural recommendations and explain to our patients the mechanism of injury so that it may be avoided in the future.

Treatments can feel uncomfortable during the movement phases as the scar tissue or adhesions “break up.” This discomfort is temporary and subsides almost immediately after the treatment. In fact, it is common to feel a duplication of your pain symptoms during the treatment – that’s a good indication that the problem has been identified.

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