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TQ Chiropractic
1816 Garnet Ave.
San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (858) 274-8888

TQ Chiropractic
6937 Linda Vista Rd.
San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 279-3888

Active Release Technique (A.R.T.)

What is Active Release Technique (ART)?

ART is a patented, state-of-the-art soft tissue system 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.

How is ART different?

Active Release Techniques (ART) soft tissue management system is so different that it has been granted a medical patent. In order to become an ART provider, each professional must complete extensive hands on instruction and written/practical testing unparalleled by other soft tissue programs. An ART provider is trained to palpate and treat more than 300 muscular and fascial injuries and over 100 nerve entrapments, which often cause numbness and tingling.

ART has also developed an advanced training program called ART Biomechanics Certification. These providers study the body in motion and address the sites which prevent optimum performance. This type of care is so effective that it is common to find Biomechanics Certified providers treating professional football, basketball, hockey, and Olympic athletes.

How do overuse conditions occur?

Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:

  • acute conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc),
  • accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma)
  • not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

What is causing the pain?

Soft tissue conditions often do not show up in radiographic studies. When soft tissue has been inured, or even chronically tight, it forms scar tissue. While necessary for healing, scar tissue may stick to adjacent structures restricting range of motion and may cause compression over nerves or blood vessels. This condition alters the texture of soft tissue, which an experienced ART provider can diagnose and treat.

What is an ART treatment like and what to expect?

Active Release Techniques, as the name implies, use motion to fix the problem. Once the injury has been assessed, the provider uses hands on treatment and patient motion to “free up” the problem areas.

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.

These treatment protocols - over 500 specific moves - are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

Treatment duration and frequency may vary depending on the severity and complexity of the injury. However, most patient experience rapid recovery.

What is the history of Active Release Techniques?

ART has been developed, refined, and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms seemed to be related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by hand. By observing how muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves responded to different types of work, Dr. Leahy was able to consistently resolve over 90% of his patients’ problems. He now teaches and certifies health care providers all over the world to use ART.

Who can benefit from ART?

What we hear most is, “I have had this pain for a long time, and up until now, no one has been able to find the cause. You found the source of the problem right away.”

This is because no one is trained to palpate these specific conditions like an ART provider. Seeing an ART provider is like seeing a soft tissue and nerve specialist. Until now, no such specialist existed.

Since an ART provider is qualified to diagnose and treat over 400 structures, we see a broad range of injuries and conditions. ART is successful for professional and amateur athletes, people injured in auto accidents or at work, and people who just work hard and hurt. Symptoms vary from aches and pains, to burning muscles, to numbness, and tingling.