“I wish I would have rested the injury and listened to my body a bit more. I know now that taking time to heal will only help you come back faster rather then always trying to work through injuries.”  ~Carrie Tollefson, Olympic runner

I think we all can agree with Carrie that taking the time to let your body heal properly without rushing it is extremely important. So many of us get injured. Whether it’s through sport, exercise or everyday life and we come to find out that these injuries have a way of sticking around without the proper care. We live in a constant ‘on the go’ world, where taking time to heal or rest up, isn’t realistic. Honestly, if we don’t take the time to properly heal, then our body’s will mask the original injury and without a doubt, they will surface later with much worse complications. Our goal during this post is to show you a technique that’ll help during your physical therapy. We believe Active Release Technique or ART Physical Therapy is something that will help you recover properly and naturally for many reasons.

Let’s dive in…What the heck is ART?

art physical therapyBefore we can start on the benefits for ART physical therapy, we’d like to define Active Release Technique, so you have the basis as to why we might use this to help you through your ailments. Active Release Technique or ART is now one of the leading treatments for soft tissue damage for sports injuries. Injured muscles, ligament, fascia, tendons and nerves all respond well with Active Release Technique physical therapy. What separates an ART physical therapy treatment from conventional massage or muscle work, is the precise directed tension and the very specific movement to ensure the smooth movement of tissue, the directed breaking up of scar tissue and the ability restore function with minimal treatment time. There are over 500 protocols for treating every muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia and nerve in the body. Active Release Technique is so specific and powerful that it is the only soft tissue therapy that is patented.

With ART physical therapy, your body’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves or fascia can be treated instead of just one section. It is the active motion, with the directed pressure administered and specific treatment of the muscle, which allows your ART physical therapy practitioner the ability to break up the adhesions. But what is an “adhesion” anyway? An adhesion is fibrous tissue that develops from a small tear in the muscle, tendon or ligament. Some people may call this “scar tissue” as well. Your body can develop scar tissue through acute injuries such as traumas, or repetitive motion injuries meaning overuse, or constant pressure and tension for an extended amount of time, for example poor posture.

Why use ART Physical Therapy

Each ART physical therapy treatment only takes a few passes over the structure and accomplishes greater results in a shorter amount of time than other soft tissue therapies. We aren’t saying that we will cure the ailment right off the bat. But our ART physical therapy combined with some homework, you will be on the road to recovery quicker than those other soft tissue therapies.

When you endure an injury and that scar tissue is formed ART physical therapy should be used so those adhesions get reduced. Adhesions limit blood flow to the structure, shorten the muscle and decreases the function of the structure. This can cause pain, weakness and sometimes numbness if the adhesion is putting pressure on a nerve. To treat an injury with ART physical therapy, the injured part of the body will be shortened, and a manual tension is applied to the area by our fingers. You will lengthen your injured area while the tension is held in place. The treatment hurts a bit, although most patients describe it as a ‘good hurt’. It feels like a stretch that you need but can’t do yourself. When a muscle is tight the technique works by increasing the nervous system’s tolerance to stretch the muscle.

Active Release Technique can help

There are a few common areas that ART physical therapy can help treat. Take a look:

  • Chronic muscle tightness: ART can quickly loosen most muscle tightness. It is the equivalent of stretching every day for two months.
  • Spinal problems: ART provides a quick relief for a stiff neck or back.
  • Tightness in the extremities: tight hip muscles or ankles can be helped by treating the tight muscles.
  • Overstrained muscles/ tendons: shoulder rotator cuff injuries, hamstring pulls, plantar fasciitis and Achilles’ problems.
  • Repetitive strain injuries: tennis elbow, shin splints and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis can improve.

ART Physical Therapy and Pain and Performance Solutions

ART physical therapy may be the answer to your pain. The only way to find out for sure is to set up your first appointment with us. Your first appointment will start by you telling us what your first injury was. Your first injury is very telling, and we will explain why that is when you come in. Don’t push through an injury and make it worse. Let our ART physical therapy help. Contact us today at 707-636-4404 or book an appointment online to start your recovery process.