“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.” – Paracelsus
Some types of physical pain are bearable. And, in fact, many of us go through life with some periods of pain in our bodies that eventually dissipate, and we forget about them. But some types of pain linger for extended periods of time and can impact our ability to function.
Shoulder pain – especially chronic shoulder pain – can be one of the most debilitating.
Shoulder pain can be the result of stress, posture, illness, overused muscles or even injuries. Fortunately, it’s possible to achieve shoulder pain relief with a specific and proven therapy treatment. And Pain and Performance Solutions can provide the help you need for relief from chronic shoulder pain using Active Release Techniques®.
Working with Active Release Technique®
Active Release Techniques®, or ART®, is a unique soft-tissue management system originally developed by Dr. P. Michael Leahy in 1985.
While working with elite athletes to treat soft tissue disorders so they could get back to peak performance as quickly as possible, Dr. Leahy noticed that the symptoms of his patients were related to changes in their soft tissues. It was this realization that eventually led Dr. Leahy to develop a technique focused on the real origin of a patient’s symptoms.
In contrast to the traditional physical therapy approaches used by most practitioners, ART® is quickly being recognized as one the most advanced and effective forms of myofascial release ever created. It has become one of the most well-known techniques among physical therapists, chiropractors, and other bodywork practitioners.
ART® works primarily by breaking up adhesions and other unhealthy tissues that can occur when muscles are repeatedly put under unusual amounts of stress. This can come from seemingly benign activities such as sitting at a desk or typing at a keyboard for long periods of time.
The body responds to this stress and the repetitive motions by attempting to reinforce those muscles through increasing tension and building up layers of collagen fibers.
While the increased tension and additional collagen fibers may help the body adapt to the undue stress, these same adaptations may also prevent proper tissue movement. And this can lead to chronic and even crippling pain over time.
Another cause of muscle and other soft tissue damage can occur from:
- Accumulation of small tears or micro-trauma
- Acute conditions such as pulls, tears, collisions, etc.
- Lack of oxygen, or hypoxia
Any of these issues can cause your body to produce dense scar tissue in the affected area, which can bind and restrict the tissues that need to move freely.
As this scar tissue builds up, the muscles become shorter and weaker, the increased tension on tendons can lead to tendonitis, and even nerves can become trapped. All of which can result in reduced range of motion, loss of strength – and pain.
Treating Your Shoulder Pain with Active Release Techniques®
While none of us are like Atlas, shouldering the weight of the globe on our shoulders, we do make great demands on our shoulder muscles.
Even though the human shoulders are quite strong, these demands cause them to be highly susceptible to injury or strain. Whether the injury or strain is sudden and traumatic, or the gradual result of repetitive or sustained movement, it can still lead to pain. Shoulder pain can even result from improper lifting or poor posture!
And, although it may be true that some types of shoulder pain can diminish completely over time, more severe and chronic shoulder pain can be effectively treated by employing Active Release Techniques® for an accurate diagnosis and a course for a full recovery.
How is this done?
As the ART® website explains,
“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 very specific patient movements.”
Using Active Release Techniques®, the practitioner can pinpoint treatment to individual small muscles of the shoulder and through their full range of motion. This is done by maintaining tension on the muscle during movement.
The treatment can hurt somewhat and can feel like being stretched in a place that needs it, but that you can’t do yourself. If you have a low pain threshold, you may find a treatment session to be a bit uncomfortable.
It is also not uncommon to experience a slight amount of soreness in the area that was treated. While the soreness is normal, it does not always occur, and it may take a few hours or even until the next day before you feel it.
ART® treatment can be effective in as few as one or two sessions for many patients, though most people may need a few more.
The technique works by increasing the nervous system’s tolerance to stretch tight muscles and is used on-site by hundreds of corporations to treat repetitive strain injuries, as well as thousands of clinics around the world.
Treating Your Shoulder ART® and Pain with Pain and Performance Solutions
Shoulder pain treatment, the first step in recovery takes place when we get to know you and your pain issues.
Once you arrive for your first appointment, we’ll want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort. Then, after a full examination, we can determine which form of treatment will best help you on your road to recovery.
Getting shoulder pain relief with Active Release Techniques® can only begin when we can understand where your pain started. That could mean it started a while back with another injury you might have sustained.
Like many other pain issues, shoulder pain does not always originate in the shoulder. As your body tries to compensate for pain, your body can also shift that pain around to compensate for your discomfort and this can lead to pain in other areas of your body.
Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body working properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have. You can reach us by filling out our online contact form or calling (707) 636-4404.