Active Release Technique (ART) is a hands-on approach to diagnose and treat soft tissue injuries. In this case, soft tissue injuries refer primarily to muscles, tendons, nerves and ligaments.
Active Release Technique (ART) is used to treat acute strains and sprains as well as conditions related to chronic overuse conditions such as tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, runner’s knee, low back pain and the like.These conditions,referred to as RSI (repetitive strain injury) and CTD (cumulative trauma disorder), are prevalent in today’s society, often resulting from a poorly healed, acute sprain/strain or from repeated minor traumas. They tend to occur as a result of a poorly healed acute sprain/strain or from repeated minor trauma such as tennis elbow in an office worker who spends all weekend hammering nails into a deck. The repeated small insults cause micro damage to the tissue which, if bad enough can present with pain, swelling, tingling, numbness, burning, weakness and tightness. As the person continues to use the affected body part, the cycle of ‘insult and injury’ worsens.
Accurate diagnosis is required to treat these soft tissue conditions successfully. Active Release Techinque makes a diagnosis by identifying the exact site of injury, the type of tissue involved (e.g. muscle, ligament, nerve, etc.) and the correct nature of the injury such as a recent tear or longstanding muscle strain (e.g. scar tissue). Active Release Technique does not require a long course of treatment, with many cases resulting in significant improvement within 4 to 5 treatments.
Active Release Technique is distinct but not dissimilar to other techniques such as mobilizing and massage. What differentiates Active Release Technique from other soft tissue therapies is ‘movement’. For example, in treating RSI’s the movement is ‘active’ (i.e. done by the patient) for the purpose of getting the damaged tissue (e.g. scar tissue) to stretch in its limited range. While this movement is occurring the practitioner maintains a firm finger pressure feeling the damaged tissue come under tension. It is this lengthening action coupled with the specific finger pressure that creates enough tension to break up or ‘release’ the damaged tissue. Once the ‘old’ damaged tissue is broken up, the soft tissues will begin to move again with full function.
At Austin Preferred Integrative Medicine, Dr. Fluitt has been successful in treating a range of soft tissue injuries. If this improvement is not seen by the fourth treatment, Active Release Technique is not likely to be of help and we will then refer you to the proper specialist. Physical therapy and/or an active exercise rehabilitation program complements Active Release Technique well and is almost always necessary for maximum recovery in chronic or recurrent cases. Preliminary studies have shown Active Release Technique to be more effective than conventional treatments for some soft tissue injuries.
We offer non-invasive physical medicine treatments and chiropractic care in Austin, TX. For your FREE consultation, call us today at 512.442.2727
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