What is ART® Soft Tissue Treatment?
ART® stands for Active Release Techniques®. The ART® soft tissue management system is a highly successful approach to injuries of muscles, tendons, fascia, nerves, and the surrounding soft tissue. Common examples of these conditions are carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, chronic low-back pain, and whiplash.
ART® Soft Tissue Treatment was developed by Dr. Michael Leahy, a doctor of chiropractic based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His Aeronautical Engineering degree and experiences from the U.S. Air Force Academy were combined with his chiropractic knowledge and knowledge of human systems to find a better way to treat soft tissue injuries. The result was Active Release Techniques. Back to top
What is Cumulative Trauma?
Cumulative Trauma disorder (CTD), Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI), Repetitive Motion injury, are all used to describe problems that arise from the cumulative injury cycle (CIC). Some common names of these conditions are Carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff syndrome, chronic low back pain, and poor posture. CTD's create physical signs and symptoms that are predictable and correctable using ART. Back to top
What is the Cumulative Injury Cycle (CIC)?
If you set a pendulum into motion, you don't have to keep pushing it each time, it keeps going! Our bodies respond in much the same way. That's why it hurts even after the stress is removed. The cycle can be started in three ways, Acute Injury, Repetitive Injury and constant Pressure or Tension. Left uncorrected, they lead to inflammation, adhesions/fibrosis, weak and tense tissues and decreased circulation all in a specific progression called the Cumulative Injury Cycle. Back to top
How do I know if I have a problem?
Our bodies are very adaptable, they have to be to survive. Our bodies protect us from damage with pain signals and repair damaged areas with scar tissue. Very often, we think we are "better" after the pain goes away, however, what has happened is that the problem area "healed" with scar tissue. You probably will not be aware of the problem until a later date, maybe years from the original injury. You can recognize adhesion problems by loss of function. Loss of function could be a decrease in range of motion, weakness, stiffness, soreness and many other symptoms that many like to call "getting older". More accurately it 's "getting stuck to yourself" Back to top
What are adhesions?
Our bodies contain special protein structures called connective tissue, also know as Fascia. This substance connects each part to other parts and the whole, very much like a flexible skeleton. When this tissue is healthy it is smooth and slippery, allowing the muscles, nerves, blood vessels or organs to move freely and function properly. Imagine a piece of scotch tape, the smooth side is healthy fascia, the sticky side is scar tissue or unhealthy fascia. Rub the tape along your skin, both sides ,to "feel" what an adhesion is like. The drag that you feel, the "pulling" sensation, is what an adhesion is like. These adhesions attach to muscles decreasing their ability to work properly. You really know when you have an adhesion on a nerve, you get many abnormal sensations like numbness, tingling or pain. Back to top
What is the difference between ART® Soft Tissue Treatment and massage?
They may look and sound similar, but the procedures are actually very different and the results they produce are very different. There are many types of massage and, generally, massage promotes relaxation and circulation. Neuromuscular Massage gets more specific but it does not fix the soft tissue and make it work properly. ART® Soft Tissue Treatment is protocol specific for the correction of adhesions & scar tissues. Anyone who has had ART® Soft Tissue Treatment can tell you, It's NOT massage! Back to top
Does ART® Soft Tissue Treatment help trigger points?
Yes, trigger points are tender spots in muscles that cause you to feel referred pain. For example, a trigger point in your infraspinatus muscle, the lower half of your shoulder blade, will tell your brain that there is a problem in the front of the shoulder. "Where it hurts it ain't!" By correcting the muscle function the trigger point goes away and so does the pain referral. Trigger points are a great indicator that ART® is the treatment you need! Back to top
Why haven't I heard of ART® Soft Tissue Treatment before?
Proficiency at ART® Soft Tissue Treatment takes a long time to develop. Training is hands on. The right touch is the most difficult aspect learn. It takes a strong commitment of time, effort and resources to become a provider. A few desire to do what it takes. Consequently, there is a small but growing number of providers that have been personally trained by Dr. Leahy. ART® Soft Tissue Treatment is rapidly becoming THE choice for TOP athletes. Back to top
How do I know if someone provides Active Release Techniques®?
Ask to see the provider certificate signed by Dr. Leahy. Many practitioners may say they do, when actually they do not. There are many types of treatments for soft tissue that other people call active release. Call the ART® Soft Tissue Treatment home office for verification of their credentials at 719-473-7000, or check out the official ART® Soft Tissue Treatmentwebsite at www.activerelease.com. Click on the link below, click "Find a Provider", then just enter your zip code or city. It's that simple! Back to top
Who can benefit from ART® Soft Tissue Treatment?
ART® Soft Tissue Treatment has become regarded as a kind of "miracle treatment" for pro-level athletes. Big names like Donovan Bailey, Olympic gold medalist and Gary Roberts, professional hockey player, have benefited from ART®. Roberts was able to return to hockey after two neck surgeries failed to correct his dizzy spells, he credits Dr. Leahy and ART® with fixing the problem. However, ART® Soft Tissue Treatment can benefit anyone, from the serious athlete to the weekend warrior to the office worker with repetitive stress or pain. Back to top
Do I really need surgery?
Sometimes surgery is a clear-cut case, a torn meniscus or ligament. Yet other times it is less clear-cut. Chronic pain and joint trouble may actually be in the muscles and connective tissue and not in the joint. If you surgeon wants to "Scope it " and see what happens, you should consider ART® Soft Tissue Treatment. It is very common to restore proper function to a particular muscle or group of muscle and have the chronic symptoms disappear. You need to know what is wrong to properly correct it. Consider ART® Soft Tissue Treatment before surgery. Once you cut , that's it, and you then have new scar tissue to deal with PLUS the original adhesions in the muscles that were there before. It makes sense doesn't it? Back to top
What is the treatment like?
Active Release Techniques® Soft Tissue Treatment is noninvasive, very safe, has virtually no side effects and comes with a record of very good results. Treatments can be uncomfortable during the movement phases as the scar tissue or adhesions "break up". This is temporary and subsides almost immediately after the treatment. It is common to feel a duplication of your symptoms during the treatment, a good indication that the problem has been identified. Treatments are about 8-15 minutes per area treated. At Pain-Free Solutions, an initial visit is between 45-50 minutes, and follow-up sessions are 15-25 minutes. It is helpful to wear shorts or sweatpants for lower extremity and back problems, or a short sleeved or sleeveless shirt for upper extremity issues. Back to top