Valley Sports Physicians is the premier facility in the Farmington Valley and the Glastonbury area offering ART for the treatment of chronic soft tissue pain. Karen Chase, MS, ATC, LAT, one of our Athletic Trainers, is Certified in both Upper and Lower Extremity ART. She has also recently add Long Tract Nerve and certified IronMan Provider to her list of certifications.
What is ART?
ART is a patented, advanced and state of the art soft tissue treatment that assess soft tissue quality and biomechanics in order to treat the root of the source of the pain and not just the symptoms that are present. It is very different then other forms of soft tissue work including passive massage therapies which often times will simply rub and dig near what hurts without determining whether the area that hurts is the victim or the problem. ART providers will use their hands and specific movement patterns that are unique to ART, to evaluate the tissue in motion to figure out what’s not moving well, what tissues do not feel normal and if there are any entrapments, spasms or adhesions. Once these individual sources of tissue restrictions are located, a specific tension in a very specific direction, is taken by the ART provider to eliminate them. The tissue is then able to move freely and the pain is therefore eliminated because you have treated the problem and not just rubbed or poked at what hurts. In fact, many times the problem is not near where the pain is at all! This is why ART works when other treatment approaches (injections, physical therapy, ice, heat, pain medicines, massage therapy, rest, ect) fail. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach to treating pain. Each treatment is customized to the specific tissue dysfunctions present in each individual patient.
What conditions is ART used for?
Sports injuries (both chronic and acute), pain from motor vehicle accidents, headaches/migraines, scoliosis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder issues, sciatica, hip pain, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, knee problems, ankle pain, foot pain and elbow pain 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 or poorly functioning soft tissues.
How do soft tissue injuries occur?
Soft tissue injuries can happen in three important ways:
- Acute conditions (strains, sprains, contusions, etc)
- Chronic conditions and old injuries that keep coming back
- Daily repetitive overuse injuries (repetitive micro-trauma cycle)
Each of these factors cause pain, which in-turn causes the tissues to guard and spasm as the body attempts to protect the area. These three conditions will also trigger the body’s normal and healthy repair processes to produce scar tissue, a tough, dense tissue that when produced either in excess or too repetitively, can inhibit tissue mobility and function. As the scar tissue builds up and the spasms and tightness in the tissue increase, the tissue biomechanics and function ultimately become inhibited. Tension builds in muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia, nerves can become trapped, adhesions start to form between tissues that should normally be sliding and gliding next to each other, knots, trigger points and other forms of tissue irregularities begin to present, and blood flow through all of the soft tissues can become impeded. This can further perpetuate the symptoms already present for many patients of reduced range of motion, tightness, swelling, weakness, numbness/tingling, and pain.
What is an ART treatment like?
Every ART session is actually a combination of both 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.
Treatments initially are scheduled twice a week for the first few visits. Then treatment frequency and the number of additional treatments needed is discussed between patient and therapist.
What is the history of Active Release Techniques?
ART was been developed, refined, and patented by a chiropractor, 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 perform ART?
Only health care professionals who have attended formal ART courses, and who have become Certified in ART, are allowed to perform ART. Physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and massage therapists are the only health care professionals allowed to take ART courses.
How do I schedule an ART appointment?
Patients do not need a referral to be seen for ART and need not already be a patient of the practice. You may feel free to contact the front desk directly to book an appointment with Karen at 860-675-0357 or to speak with Karen for a free phone consultation. Karen sees patients in both the Glastonbury and the Avon offices.
For more information, go to www.activerelease.com.