What is Active Release Technique (ART) and How Can It Relieve My Pain?

Picture of chiropractic patientActive Release Technique (ART) is a soft tissue, movement-based therapy used to treat injured scar tissue and adhesions in the body. As a certified ART provider, I often encourage patients with headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, plantar fasciitis, knee pain and Tennis Elbow (among other conditions) to consider ART to break up their restricted muscles and aid in the healing process.

What is ART and how does it work?

When muscles and other tissues become injured or over-stressed (either from repetitive use or incorrect posture), your body produces scar tissue to repair itself. As the scar tissue builds up, your muscles become shorter and weaker, often creating tension in the nerves and tendons. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength and even pain. If a nerve is trapped, you may also feel a slight tingling, numbness or weakness.

ART helps break-up these adhesions and speed up the healing process after a muscle strain or injury by promoting blood flow to help the body form new, healthy tissue. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach. In fact, there are more than 500 specific ART treatment protocols — all of which must be performed by a certified ART provider.

What does it mean to be a Certified ART Provider?

To become a certified ART provider, you must invest a great deal of time and effort to learn more than 500 treatment protocols. More importantly, you must be able to develop an advanced “feel” for the tissues and their texture, tension and movement, as well as understand and evaluate the movement of each tissue relative to the one next to it.


At Pottawattamie County Sports & Family Chiropractic, ART is just one of the many chiropractic services we provide. As a certified ART provider, I will evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of your muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves, and take you through a combination of strategically directed tension and movement patterns to break up and treat your adhesions.

If you are interested in learning more about ART, or if you would like to set up an appointment with me, please contact us.