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Active Release Techniques and Chiropractic

Perfect Synergy for Diagnosing and Resolving Muscle and Joint Pain Syndromes

This is the second article in a series of articles on a new paradigm in dealing with musculoskeletal injuries.  Read the first article here.

In the series I will detail the secret to resolving muscle and joint pain syndromes.  What makes a “sports chiropractor” different from other chiropractic physicians?  Many of the chiropractic physicians who practice sports medicine are certified Active Release Techniques® providers.  And of those, most are full body certified, which means they have spent a great deal of time invested in learning and mastering their skill and craft at detecting and resolving soft tissue injuries.

I have never heard of ART before,  What is Active Release Technique?

Active Release Techniques ® is a patented, state of the ART soft tissue movement based treatment that is used to locate and break down scar tissue that results from soft tissue injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.

Every year several thousand athletes visit the Active Release Techniques® (ART) tent at the Ironman races. It’s always just about the most popular place at the race second to the finish line of course. They know that if there is a physical problem or if they just want to race better they can get instant results.

Well, now you can get the same care. The ART providers shown below at the IRONMAN Provider Network are race tested. They know your concerns and they know how to keep you training at your best.

Many people, even athletes active in sports clubs have not heard of ART, yet nearly every MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA teams use Certified  ART providers.   Active Release Techniques® providers have worked on athletes in the Olympic games and in Mixed Martial Arts.  ART providers play a major role in PBR, Professional Bull Riding, as well as the PGA.  All these athletes share the common bond of repetitive stress, overuse injuries, and sports related trauma.  If ART can help them get back in the game, it can surely work for you.

Active Release Techniques® is even offered as part of the comprehensive approach to training and rehabilitating some of the world’s top athletes at Athletes’ Performance.  A true refuge for the elite athlete, Athletes’ Performance attracts athletes from around the globe.   Many of the top champions in sports make Athletes’ Performance their off-season home.

What is causing your pain?

Specific, detailed diagnosis allows for more effective treatment.

Many of our patients come in and ask us “is it the muscle or the joint that is injured?”.  This is such a common questions it comes up almost daily.  The reality is this,  according to Dr. Vladimir Janda  ” It has been recognized that the dysfunctions of muscles and joints are so closely related, the two should be considered a single, inseparable functional unit.

Active Release Techniques® combined with Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy =  A More comprehensive treatment for injuries.

For most musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries, there are two equal parts in play, the joints and the surrounding soft tissues.  As I mentioned above, nearly all injuries involve a joint and the surrounding soft tissue.  Soft tissue includes, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and, more importantly, all the fascia that surrounds and intertwines throughout these tissues.  Traditional methods in sports medicine is based on an acute trauma based model.  For example, an acute ankle sprain or fracture or dislocation.  Many times a medical workup is completely based on joint integrity.  If X-rays reveal a fracture or dislocation, the fracture is set and cast or a dislocated joint is reduced and maybe placed in a sling.  But what about all the soft tissues that are injured in the process.  They are often ignored unless there is a compete tear of a muscle or tendon.

In chronic overuse injuries, downplaying of the importance of soft tissue injuries is even more critical.  Many physicians make the mistake of telling patients “you just have a soft tissue injury and need to rest”.  Well rest can be very helpful, it allows the inflammation to reduce and pain often gets better.  But what happens when you resume your sport or activity?  Most often, the pain comes back because rest will not and cannot resolve soft tissue injury. Thankfully there is a solution: Active Release Techniques®

Fascia, when healthy forms a free gliding interface between and within muscles, allowing free movement to occur.  When fascia, muscles, tendons, and ligaments get mechanically overloaded, injury can occur resulting in fibrosis and adhesions that disrupt the “sliding and gliding” of tissues.

Active Release Techniques ® is a patented, state of the ART soft tissue movement based treatment that is used to locate and break down scar tissue that results from soft tissue injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.

So Does ART Help to Speed Recovery from Injury?

ART works by effectively detecting and resolving soft tissue restrictions, adhesions, scar tissue and restoring proper gliding between muscle and fascial layers.  By doing so, the muscle tissue no longer should be restricting joint motion.  However, many times joints can become “locked” due to adhesions in the joint capsules and from wear and tear and chronic overload over time.  Manipulation is very helpful at restoring joint motion and breaking up adhesions that restrict joint movement.

How Long Until I Feel Results?

In about 4-6 visits, the pain should be substantially better.  This does not mean the issue has resolved, but you are on your way.  If in about 4-6 visits you are not experiencing significant pain relief, you should be referred out for further imaging or consult with another health care provider.  We do not waste your time or your money.

Capitol Rehab Sports Care is all about combining the best in soft tissue treatment, manipulation, along with a Functional Movement Screen™ which allows us to detect faulty movement patterns and then devise a comprehensive corrective exercise plan to retrain movement and improve mobility and stability where needed in order to optimize performance for sport and for life.

Find a local ART Ironman Provider in your area at:



2.  Leon Chaitow Talks about the Explosion of Fascial Research

3. Fontaine, M.  The Secret To Resolving Muscle and Joint Pain Syndromes

4.  Fontaine, M.  Athletes and Active Individuals Share A Common Bond..Soft Tissue Injuries

5.  Hammer,W.  The Pathology and Healing of Tendinosis

6.   Chaitow, L.   New Research Explains Why Manipulation Is Effective

7.  Cramer, G.  Evaluating the relationship among cavitation, zygapophyseal joint gapping, and spinal manipulation: an exploratory case series. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2011 Jan;34(1):2-14.

8.  Cramer, G.   Zygopophyseal joint adhesions after induced hypomobility.  J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2010 Sep;334(7):508-18.

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