Active Release Technique


Soft Tissue Therapy

ART is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue therapy system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Some of the conditions that can be resolved quickly with ART are:

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Shin splints
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sciatica
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Knee problems
  • Tennis elbow

These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of repetitive stress.

Repetitive stress (or strain) injuries, also known as cumulative trauma disorders, are major problems in the workforce, athletic population as well as the general population. The health care costs and loss of productivity costs of these syndromes is staggering.

How do overuse conditions occur?

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:

  • acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
  • accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

A major problem with cumulative trauma disorders is the accumulation of adhesions, formed initially as a protective mechanism serving to limit the motion of the affected tissues to allow the damaged tissue to heal slowly. The other problem is that adhesions form sticky abnormal bands of tissue that grow together in an abnormal way. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

What is an ART treatment like?

Every ART session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with the hands with very specific patient movements. For example, in the case of a rotator cuff problem, the practitioner will apply specific tension on a particular muscle in the shoulder as the patient moves his/her arm in a particular direction. This is repeated several times on numerous affected areas.

These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. Each of our Chiropractors is fully certified in Active Release Techniques.

MSK Health and Performance Clinic offers Active Release Technique (ART) services in Vancouver. Contact our staff to find more about this technique and its benefits.