Active Release Techniques “The Modality For Pain Relief And Improved Sports Performance!”
Picture being on the 8th hole playing one of your favorite desert courses on a warm sun filled day with your friends, when all of a sudden you get this sharp pain in your back from trying to sink an 18 foot put.
Holding your back and in obvious pain you cant move. You look back in time and recall that this is happening more frequently than in the past. Now your day of golf is ruined and you now need to find a way to get out of pain, so you call your doctor who prescribes you some medicine and tells you to rest for a few days. Three days have past, you have missed work the pain is still there and life seems very frustrating at the moment. After a couple of weeks have past the pain is resolved you go back to work and things seem fine again. You then go to the range hit some balls and after 15 minutes have past by the pain is back and now you can’t straighten up. You are now very concerned and frustrated! You make another appointment with your doctor, he takes x rays, gives you more medicine and says that there is nothing showing up from the tests. “What do I do now” you asked yourself? This is too common of a problem in the United States. Over 85% of Americans will experience several episodes of back pain during their lifetime. There is a solution that has become very popular over the past 10 years, but has been around for 25 years. It’s called Active Release Techniques!
Active Release is a patented state of the art soft tissue movement system invented By Michael Leahy DC that treats problems involving muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia. Conditions like sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, rotator cuff problems, headaches and TMJ just to mention a few can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART. All of these conditions have something in common overused muscles.
Every treatment consists of evaluating and then treating tissue texture, tightness and movement by the use of the practitioners hands. Certified practitioners are educated on how to locate and then feel different tissues textures and how movement is affected and range of motion is restricted eventually leading to weakness and dysfunction.
The procedure for treating soft tissue injuries or nerve entrapments is to first locate where the problem is coming from, this sometimes is not at the pain site but from somewhere else. After finding a restrictive muscle or structure, the practitioner shortens applies tension in the direction of the fibers and then stretches it, this in turn will help breakdown adheased scar tissue and allow the tissue to start healing by delivering oxygen and fresh blood to the area. When you have small muscle tears (strains) the matrix (foundation) of how new tissue lays down evenly is impeded by what is laying on top. If you have an injury scar tissue forms and that tissue lays down unevenly and not smoothe, so this must be addressed so that the new tissue can lay its self down evenly so that its adjacent structures don’t stick together creating a dysfunction.
Active Release Therapy is different than just getting a massage, because the patient is involved in the therapy. If you want to get pampered and just lay there then you need to find a massage therapist, but if you want fast results and want to relieve pain and get on with your life then Active Release therapy is the solution.
From a sports performance perspective, it’s a huge advantage to have someone on site that can provide this service. There are many professional sports teams that have these talented practitioners on their staff, like the NFL. MLB, NHL PGA, LPGA and ATP tours just to mention a few. As an example; a football player comes hobbling over to the sidelines and is grabbing on to his neck, the practitioner identifies it as a “stinger” which feels like a paralysis to the player. He performs a few moves on his neck using the patented technique, and within minutes the player is able to resume his career.
If properly evaluated and treated most conditions can be permanently resolved within 6 visits. This doesn’t mean that another injury won’t occur unless you can identify what caused it and then do the prescribed home program protocol faithfully! Most insurances if billed under a soft tissue code should cover the procedure, but many practitioners nowadays don’t take insurance, but in the long run if it can keep you off the operating table, eliminate the need for prescription medications and avoid getting shots then it will save not only your health but thousands of dollars.