Active Release Technique (ART) – How and why it works

Do you have sore, tired, aching muscles and joints? Have you suffered from a fall or an injury that hasn’t recovered fully? The truth is that at some point in our lives we have all had times where the constant aches and pains can get us down. However there is a solution to relieving this tension and restoring movement for long term gain: Active Release Technique.

How do we build up tension? Why can’t stretching or exercise alleviate everything?

Through all of our daily activities we will naturally accumulate scar tissue over time. This process helps us to strengthen our tissues as we move and adapt to life’s various activities and strains. However much like the plaque on our teeth, without proper maintenance and care this scar tissue can start to limit our movement and functionality. The same can be said when we have a trauma or injury. Scar tissue acts as a protective barrier around the injury to help with healing. Once that healing is done, however, the scar tissue can restrict our full range of movement, causing us to use other muscles to compensate and thus tiring us out more. Stretching and exercise is always good maintenance for our bodies but it sometimes isn’t enough when scar tissue is limiting that very function. This is where Active Release Technique can be effective in maintenance care.

How does Active Release Technique work?

Active Release Techniques focus on relieving pain right at the source of the discomfort by releasing the scar tissue that has accumulated. Think of sausage links in a frying pan when they get stuck to the bottom of the pan; this is how your scar tissue becomes over time. Active Release Techniques actively stretch the area with the muscle or joint movement right at the source. This helps to realign the scar tissue in a better direction to allow increased movement and pain relief. The number of treatments will depend on the amount of scar tissue present or the type of injury caused in the area.

I’ve heard that it hurts to get Active Release done. Does it?

Active Release techniques can be tender or sore at times but this is usually because of the realignment of scar tissue. Patients have told me it feels like “a good hurt” or “like someone removing a thorn”. It should never hurt to the point of unbearable pain. Your doctor or therapist will consult with you before the treatment and during the techniques to help find the right level of comfort for you.

Scar tissue is a normal strengthening process of life but it doesn’t have to cause us pain or interfere with our activities. Regular maintenance is important to help keep us limber and ready to take on what life throws at us. Don’t let scar tissue keep you limited – book in with us at Back to Health Wellness Centre today!

For more information on Active Release Technique and how it can help you click here:
http://www.activerelease.com/what_patients.asp

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