Active Release Technique also commonly referred to as ART, is a soft tissue therapy targeting overused muscles and other soft tissues to facilitate their healing and optimize their functions. Overused muscles, tendons and ligaments can change in three ways:
- In acute situations, they can get strained or sprained (ex. muscle pull)
- They can accumulate small tears through micro-traumas
- They can get hypoxic if not receiving enough oxygen
Each one of these situations is unique but can create underlying inflammation in the soft tissue structures, forming scar tissue that causes muscles to become short and tight or lengthened and inhibited. This can result in reduced range of motion, weakness and pain. In addition, nerves can also become trapped which would manifest itself as feelings of tingling, numbness and weakness.