The Science Behind Active Release Technique

Active Release Techniques in Greenville, SC

The use of a patented targeted massage treatment, known as Active Release Technique (ART), can significantly improve many soft tissue and nerve damage injuries. Whether you are a long-distance runner, or sit at a desk all day, ART can help alleviate pain in problem areas. The soft-tissue system and movement-based massage technique treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments fascia and nerves. A safe and effective alternative to steroid injections and surgery, ART can significantly shorten healing time for many common injuries.

What is it?

Dr. P. Michael Leahy, founded ART when he noticed his patients’ symptoms were related to soft tissue changes that he could feel by hand. He was able to observe and evaluate how the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, later achieving a 90 percent success rate in his patients with various conditions.

All common conditions and injuries usually begin with overused muscles. Overused muscles can lead to the following:

  • Acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions etc.);

  • Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma);

  • Not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

As a result, your body can produce tough scar tissue that binds down other tissues that are designed to move freely. Once scar tissue is built up, muscles become shorter and weaker and if tendonitis develops, patients with entrapped nerves can experience reduced range of motion, tingling, numbness, pain and weakness. ART providers first use their hands to evaluate abnormal tissues and then combine precisely directed tension with very specific patient movement. With over 500 specific moves, ART allows providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient.

Who Can Benefit From ART

Anyone who is experiencing pain due to a soft tissue injury can benefit from ART. Underlying causes and mechanisms of injuries can include a wide variety of scenarios, but the treatment of altered movement patterns remains the same. Restoring proper muscle function and movement allows the body to operate at the most efficient level when performing even the smallest task, such as walking across the room. Before turning to surgery or non-conservative treatment options, explore ART and the benefits it can provide for your overall well-being.

How ART Differs From Regular Massage

One of the biggest differentiators between ART and regular static massage is the involvement of the patient to perform specific actions. According to Active release technique: what you need to know, this movement makes particular sense for athletes, as the only way to reach the root of the underlying issue, is to apply treatment during the motions that cause it. ART treatment involves shortening specific muscles and then lengthening them. For instance, to treat the calf muscle, a patient may be asked to push their foot down like they are pressing on a gas pedal, shortening the muscle. Then, while tension is applied, a patient would be directed to pull their foot up all the way, lengthening the muscle. During ART treatment, patient participation is an important part of targeting specific problem areas.

ART can usually resolve pain and restore proper muscle function from common injuries in a few visits. Combining traditional adjustment, soft-tissue techniques, and functional rehabilitation usually produces the best results. You don’t have to live with your pain, make an appointment to explore ART today at


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