If you’ve ever been to a physical therapist, sustained injury while playing a sport or been told to seek Active Release Technique (ART) for a physical ailment or issue, you’re not alone.
ART is a method that’s been around for decades, that works through a combination of manipulation and movement. It’s a branch of manual therapy, several forms of which are offered at our Bethesda clinic.
How does ART work?
Founded by Dr. P. Michael Leahy, it’s become a common and very popular practice in physical therapy and chiropractic practices. It works by working through and manipulating the soft tissue around injury or pain sites, relieving pressure on the nerves and joints.
Results indicate the success of this method in order to alleviate symptoms of these conditions and disorders, among others. What makes it so effective is that the technique works by targeting lymphatic system flows.
Problems within the lymphatic system or within the lymph nodes can be incredibly detrimental and cause a host of issues. From cancer (lymphoma) to HIV or strep throat, the lymphatic system can manifest itself in different ways.
ART works by pushing joint fluid through the body through the lymphatic system, loosening up entrapped nerves, help with vasculature and break down scar tissue. This aims to restore the mobility and texture of soft tissue, as well as functionality.
How is it done?
There are several techniques of performing ART, each depending on the area of the body worked on. There are dozens, sometimes hundreds of different specifications for performing ART. It depends on what your physical therapist deems necessary and effective for treatment.
Scar tissues—also known as adhesions—can form between muscles and limit flexibility, mobility, and function, as well as lead to pain and stiffness. Scar tissue can also affect nerves, intensifying physical sensations.
The physical therapist will able to detect and isolate the area that’s been affected and use a range of movements and motions to break up the scar tissue and any formations that may be present. This pressure is applied to the spot, coupled with instructions to the patient to move along a certain direction—these movements aim to break down the scar tissue, as mentioned above.
It’s a great technique to increase flexibility, decrease stiffness and prevent further injury, as well as target existing problems. If you’re looking for relief from tension and stiffness that are hindering your quality of life, drop by our physical therapy clinic in Bethesda and seek manual therapy services. Contact us here.