As a chiropractor, I have first-hand experience with Active Release Techniques (ART), and how it can boost the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment. I use it every day, and it is tremendous! But I’m often asked what makes ART different than other types of therapies. Why do I like it so much? The answer is an easy one: because it works! But what is it? And what makes it work so well?
Active Release is a treatment technique that helps break up scar tissue, and restore normal movement and function to your muscles and other soft tissues. And in my opinion (and in the opinion of many professional athletes), it does it better and faster than anything else, especially when combined with Chiropractic treatment.
With that in mind, here are 5 reasons why I think chiropractic and Active Release are so great together.
1. Active Release Works FAST!
Maybe you’re in pain, or have had a whiplash injury or sports injury and don’t know what to do. Maybe you’ve been doing therapy for weeks and aren’t getting better. If so, maybe it’s time you tried Active Release Techniques. Most people who try ART feel improvement on their very first visit, and often feel much better after just a few sessions, especially when combined with chiropractic treatment.
Faster results mean less out-of-pocket expense for you, less time spent running to appointments, and a quick return to the activities you enjoy. And who doesn’t want to save a little time and money when it comes to feeling better.
2. Active Release Helps Get To The Root Of The Problem
One of the reasons ART works so well is it helps to treat the underlying cause of your pain or injury. Take neck pain for example. The joints and muscles in the neck cause pain when they don’t work properly. But did you know that tight chest muscles (I’m looking at you computer users) pull the shoulders forward and put strain on the neck and upper back? Tight shoulder muscles will do the exact same thing.
With ART, the emphasis is on addressing ALL areas that are contributing to the problem. In the example above, that means treating the neck and upper back, as well as your shoulders and pec muscles. A more thorough approach can help you enjoy faster, longer-lasting relief. It can also help improve your posture and athletic performance.
3. Active Release Treatment Occurs In Motion!
You’re probably thinking, so what?! But this is important! Most
injuries occur as a result of repetitive motion. Typing at a keyboard, throwing, running, jumping, lifting, playing sports, and gardening are all common examples. Even whiplash injuries occur in motion. And the key to healing these injuries is to treat them in motion. This is exactly what ART does!
Specific forces are applied to muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia while the patient moves the area being treated through a range of motion. Treatment is often described as a ‘good hurt’, and can give fast relief. More importantly, ART can restore normal movement and function to those soft tissues in much the same way chiropractic can help restore normal movement and function to the joints.
4. Active Release Can Help Improve Performance, And So Much More!
When your body functions better, it performs better. And that goes for everyone, whether you’re an elite athlete, recreational runner, or sit at a computer all day. Repetitive motion injuries make muscles stiff and weak. This means they have to work harder than healthy muscles to do the same work. That can put a serious damper on performance.
More importantly, your body will start to compensate for these injured muscles. This can result in an increased risk of injury to both soft tissues and joints. Active Release Techniques can help restore normal function to muscles and soft tissues, while chiropractic can do the same for your joints. This means a decreased risk of injury and better performance. Even if you’re not an athlete, it can help you feel better, sleep better, and enjoy activity more. It’s that simple!
5. Active Release Can Help, Even When Other Treatments Don’t
I’ve been practicing chiropractic since 1998, so I’ve had the benefit of seeing a lot of people with different injuries and conditions. Some have seen a laundry list of providers without any relief. Quite often, those people get relief with a combination of chiropractic and Active Release Techniques. It works that well.
ART isn’t for everybody, but the vast majority of people get significant, lasting relief, even with chronic conditions. If you’ve had a sports or whiplash injury, if you have neck or back pain, or you just want to feel better, give Active Release a try. Chances are you’ll be happy you did!