What exactly is ART and who can benefit from it?

How is Active Release Techniques (ART) different than other soft tissue techniques?

Dr. Gervais providing upper extremity ART to patient.
Dr. Gervais providing upper extremity ART to patient.

ART is a soft tissue management system that is so unique that it has been granted a medical patent. It is a hands on therapy that addresses issues with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. ART providers, whether you are a chiropractor, medical doctor, naturopath, physical therapist, osteopathic physician, massage therapist, acupuncturist, etc., each professional must complete in depth hands on instruction as well as practical testing with a score of 90% or better to become certified. A certified ART provider is trained to assess and treat more than 300 myofascial injuries along with over 100 nerve entrapments than often lead to chronic pain syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica. ART systematically breaks down the soft tissue management system into 3 main courses: spine, lower extremity and upper extremity. There are also specialty certifications once you are certified in the main three. These include nerve entrapment protocols, biomechanics and complex protocols. To be competent in ART one must have a great understanding of human anatomy and how the body is designed to move.

What can you expect from an ART session?

As the name implies, ART uses motion to address the problem. Once the injury has been assessed, the ART provider utilizes hands on treatment and patient motion to “mobilize” the restricted areas. Depending on the nature of the injury, some patients can actively perform the desired movement for their treatment whereas others may not be able to achieve movement in the problematic area unless it is performed passively, such as the provider and/or an assistant to help with patient movement.

So who can benefit from ART?

Most people seeking ART have been in pain for a long time and are surprised how no one has been able to find the cause of their pain. ART providers are trained to palpate specific conditions like very few other professionals. ART providers are essentially soft tissue and nerve specialists. They are qualified to diagnose and treat over 400 structures in the body, making it very common to see a wide variety of injuries and conditions. ART is successful for professional athletes, weekend warriors, people injured in an auto accident or at there workplace, and people who just work hard and hurt. Symptoms vary across the board but typical presentation can include aches and pains, burning sensations, numbness and tingling and joint stiffness and tightness just to name a few.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing aches and pains, numbness, tingling, etc., then ART is for you! Most people experience positive change in their symptoms in 1-2 visits while complete resolution of an injury or pain syndrome might take anywhere from 3-6 visits on average, sometimes more than six and sometimes less than three. For more information about ART and to find a provider near you please visit www.activerelease.com.

Live your best,

Dr. Brian

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