Active Release Technique® or ART® was developed in the mid 1980’s by Dr. Michael Leahy, a Colorado based Chiropractor and aeronautical engineer. It is a state of the art, hands-on soft tissue technique designed specifically to find scar tissue in damaged tissues and release the adhesions that are resulting. This scar tissue is caused mostly by repetitive use or overuse of a certain muscle or tissue. Most commonly athletes and industrial workers doing repetitive movements suffer from such a condition, however, anybody can be affected by this injury.
Healthy tissues in the body normally slide over each other smoothly. When tissues are injured either by an acute trauma or repetitive microtrauma over time, the tissues experience tiny tears, and these tears fill in with scar tissue. This scar tissue is the body’s simplest grade of tissue, and often in the intent to repair, the scar tissue does more harm than good. Scar tissue build-up hinders the muscle’s ability to glide smoothly or to lengthen fully. Often the scar tissue can trap nerves, reduce blood flow to the muscles, and restrict movement creating pain, swelling and decreased range of motion. ART® works by breaking up the scar tissue that binds muscle fibres together. This is done by starting with the muscle in a shortened position as the practitioner traps the scar tissue under their finger or thumb, then the muscle is lengthened fully. Patients often feel sore the day following a treatment, but the day after that, many patients reported a significant decrease in their pain.
© Dr. Michael Leahy