Active Release Technique
Have you ever heard of Active release technique®? Well if not you should get to know what its all about especially if you want to keep your soft tissue in prime condition, improve your performance or treat those niggles and be provided with treatment that could help you get over current injury that other treatments have had little success with!
ART is a hands-on soft tissue treatment of ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves. It provides a quick way to make a tight muscle loose, as well as treating conditions such as: tennis/golfers elbow, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff issues, shin splints and plantar fasciitis amongst a whole array of other issues that many of you guys seem to pick up! The technique involves the therapist putting pressure on a tissue, while the patient stretches to move the tissue slowly out from under the contact. The technique works by increasing the nervous system’s tolerance to stretch.
ART is used on-site around the world by hundreds of corporations to treat repetitive strain injuries (one UK firm saved £1.5 M in one year), and in thousands of clinics around the world, it is best known for its use in elite sport. Almost every single professional sports team in North America utilizes ART for treating injuries and preventing injuries / performance care.
Performing at the highest level is difficult with muscle imbalances and/or joint restrictions. ART eliminates these, which allows the athlete to train hard without suffering an injury. Elite level performance care is about trying to make small gains in muscle and joint function, even just 1% better can make all the difference. When small gains are aggregated performance is noticeably enhanced. Mobility, stability and strength are the three keys to performance, but without mobility it’s impossible to build stability and strength. ART is an rapid way to fix mobility issues, establishing the base from which stability and strength can be built, and the casual gym goer can most certainly benefit from the same techniques as the professionals.
One area where the gym goer, with mobility issues, struggles is in performing a proper squat. To be performed to a decent depth, the ankles, knees and hips need sufficient mobility. However, if one of these joints lacks adequate mobility another joint will compensate to achieve the squatting position - which could lead to injury. The most common problem which prevents a deep squat is a lack of ankle dorsiflexion (moving the shin towards the foot). The Achilles tendon may feel tight, but often the four muscles beneath it (especially the flexor hallucis which goes to the big toe) or the ankle ligaments are the source of the problem. The key to addressing this issue is the identification of the structure responsible for the loss of mobility and the ability to fix it. With its careful attention to anatomical detail, ART is a great approach to correct poor ankle dorsiflexion.
In my experience if you want to train harder, and keep up the gains your making but injury is holding your back then ART could well be your solution. You owe it to yourself to keep your body in good condition. It will thank you for it! Just remember most muscle and tendon injuries are fixable. Don't let them effect your gains!