ART is a soft tissue management system designed to rid injured areas of scar tissue. Our doctors employ ART in musculoskeletal disorders to remedy injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, rotator cuff injuries, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, tennis elbow, headaches, and back pain which 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.
Whether you are an athlete, laborer, stay at home mom, or secretary, we are all prone to over-using muscles at our jobs and in our daily lives. Overuse Syndrome is a common ailment in our society. With work duties, athletic events, and daily lives etc putting repetitive stresses on the same structures we often develop this syndrome. These stresses may not be painful, but as the body compensates for long term use of an individual muscle or group of muscles it begins the process of self-preservation and the soft tissue adapts and changes over time.
As scar tissue builds up the following may occur:
• Muscles become shorter and weaker
• Tension on tendons causes tendonitis
• Nerves can become entrapped
Which then leads to the following:
• Reduced Range of Motion
• Loss of Strength
• If a nerve is entrapped it can cause numbness and tingling in the affected area.
1. Acute Injury
2. Repetitive Injury
3. Constant Pressure or Tension
Our body uses scar tissue extensively in the same way that tar patch repairs are added to fix small cracks in the road. When muscles, or other tissues, are overstressed or injured, our bodies use scar tissue as a patch repair. This is a natural part of the healing process. However, if the source of the injury is not corrected the tissue will accumulate too much scar tissue, which then becomes a problem. This is similar to when a road has been given too many patch repairs and is no longer smooth.
ART is not a massage, which is useful for decreasing muscle tension. Instead, the intent is to "resurface the road." This technique works out the scar tissue and helps the tissues to heal normally with long-lasting results. It is important to state the pain, numbness, or other symptoms may not resolve if the scar tissue is not broken up as well as the source of the tension discovered. Both of these can be accomplished by a careful exam and knowledgeable ART provider.
For more information on Active Release Techniques®, please visit their website at www.activerelease.com