At Rehab 1 Performance Center, we receive a lot of questions about Active Release Technique, or A.R.T., because of the widespread effectiveness that people are reporting when having this type of treatment. We wanted to shed more light on how Active Release Technique works and what conditions it is helpful for.
The core benefit of Active Release Technique is preventing and breaking up dense scar tissue, also called adhesions. Adhesions limit the normal range of motion of joints and muscles because they cause abnormal binding between muscle groups, are very tough and are inflexible compared to healthy tissue.
The reason that adhesions form is to bind injured tissues and keep them stable — however, the adhesions act like a strong “glue” and can often compress or pinch nerves. Nerves sometimes become entrapped by scar tissue, which causes trigger points and pain to develop. The more that scar tissue forms, the more joints or tendons become strained and nerves become compressed.
According to the Active Release Techniques website, soft tissue manipulations address several components related to scar tissue formation:
• acute injuries, including tears or collisions that can happen during exercise or sports
• micro-trauma, which is the gradual wear-down of tissue that’s often caused from aging and inflammation
• Hypoxia, which results from tissue not receiving enough nutrients and oxygen
What are some signs that you might be experiencing adhesion/scar tissue accumulation and therefore can benefit from ART? These include:
• stiffness in your neck, elbow, hands, knees or back, sometimes associated with bursitis or tendonitis
• increased pain or throbbing when exercising
• reduced flexibility and limited range of motion
• loss of muscle strength
• inflamed joints or frequent joint pains
• signs of nerve damage, such as tingling, numbness and weakness
If you suffer with any of these, Active Release Technique may provide benefit. Please contact us at Rehab1 Performance Center to have an assessment and see if this may be a option for you.