Active Release Techniques or ART is the primary system I use to treat patients. I began training in ART in 2003 while still a chiropractic student. I began practice in 2004 and have always employed a functional movement approach that includes applying Active Release to tight, overused, and often pain causing soft-tissues. I have always been gratified at the positive feedback I have received from athletes in particular.
The definition of Active Release Techniques, according to the official ART website, www.activerelease.com, is as follows:
ART is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.
When patients ask me what ART treatments are like, I describe it as seeming to be a mix of deep tissue massage and stretching. For large muscles, such as hamstring, hip flexors, and quads, I use an assistant to guide the patient through the body movements. Always in ART there is patient body movement while the provider is placing tension on the targeted muscle.
Most patients describe ART treatment as a “good pain” while its being performed. That is, the treatment can be somewhat uncomfortable but the patient can tell that it is helping. Most patients report significant relief following a treatment session.
Athletes, in particular, find tremendous value in receiving Active Release treatment. Most days I will treat CrossFitters, Triathletes, runners, and other athletic individuals and I will get feedback that ART treatment is allowing the athlete to continue training in his or her sport.
Eric DeRoche DC
Dr. Eric DeRoche is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) and a Certified Active Release Techniques (ART) provider. He is the owner of Velo Sports Rehab, conveniently located in the Overlake area, serving Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, and Seattle.