Active Release Techniques – Effective Treatment for Overuse Injuries


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The secret’s out: Active Release Techniques (ART) can help you get back to enjoying life – sans pain – more quickly than you previously thought. No, this isn’t a pill or a magic potion that covers up the problem, it’s a technique that helps heal.

But what is it?

ART is a versatile soft tissue management technique that can aid in the recovery of tendinitis, bursitis, knee pain, chronic stiffness, and more. Dr. Michael Leahy (DC, CCSP), founder of ART, describes the principle behind ART as “applying tension to tissue in order to lengthen it or make it slide relevant to adjacent tissue.” The ART specialist is able to assess tendon tightness, adjusting treatment depending upon the patients’ needs.

How does overuse occur in the first place?
When soft tissue is overused, there may be tears or pulls. When muscles are torn, dense scar tissue is created which can cause nerves to get trapped in the entanglement. If you think about pinching your finger in the doorway, you may better understand why this can cause pain. This pain may be identified as tingling or numbness.

Why is ART different?
Providers of ART must learn over 500 treatment moves (specific to ART) in order to receive credentialing. Full-body ART certification does not happen overnight; it is specific anatomical education, paired with frequent practice, that providers must be committed to learning.

If you’ve had reoccurring pain from overuse, don’t waste another minute being in pain.

-Hayden McDevitt, DPT, OCS, CSCS

*Hayden McDevitt is the only Physical Therapist in Lancaster County to receive full-body ART certification. He practices at the Lititz HARTZ PT location.