ART® stands for Active Release Techniques®. It is a new and highly successful hands-on treatment method to address problems in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. ART® treatment is highly successful in dealing with foot and ankle injuries because it is specifically designed to locate and treat scar-tissue adhesions that accumulate in the muscles and surrounding soft tissue. Locating and treating the soft-tissue adhesions with ART® allows the practitioner to:
break up restrictive adhesions
reinstate normal tissue flexibility and movement
more completely restore flexibility, balance, and stability to the injured area and to the entire kinetic chain
You can think of an ART® treatment as a type of active massage. The practitioner first shortens the muscle, tendon, or ligament, and then applies a very specific pressure with the hands as you actively stretch and lengthen the tissues. As the tissue lengthens, the practitioner is able to assess the texture and tension of the muscle to determine if the tissue is healthy or contains scar tissue that needs further treatment. When scar-tissue adhesions are felt, the amount and direction of tension can be modified to treat the problem area. In this sense, each treatment is also an assessment of the health of the area, as we are able to feel specifically where the problem is occurring. An additional benefit of ART® is that it allows us to further assess and correct problems not only at the site, but also in the other areas of the kinetic chain that are associated with movement compensations, and are often contributing to the problem. This ensures that all the soft tissues that have become dysfunctional and are contributing to the specific injury are addressed, even if they have not yet developed pain. One of the best things about ART® is how quickly it provides results. In our experience, the majority of ankle conditions respond very well to ART® treatment, especially when combined with the appropriate home stretching and strengthening exercises. Although each case is unique and several factors determine the length of time required to fully resolve each condition, we usually find that significant improvement can be gained in four to six treatments. These results are the main reason that many elite athletes and professional sports teams have ART® practitioners on staff, and why ART® is an integral part of the Ironman triathlon series. To book an appointment to see if ART® can help with your Athlete’s Ankle, call our office at (248) 477- 2100.