Active Release Techniques (ART®) is a series of patented, soft tissue and movement-based techniques used to treat problems involving muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. It is truly a state-of-the-art massage technique known to quickly resolve conditions such as back pain, shoulder pain, sciatica, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, tennis elbow, headaches and neck pain. 

Kick Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine Inc. is proud to be offering Active Release Techniques (ART®) in the communities of Maple, Woodbridge, Vaughan, Richmond Hill, Oak Ridges, King City, Thornhill, Kleinberg and Toronto. Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and overuse syndromes respond extremely well to ART. These two conditions involve a series of physiological events including inflammation, fibrosis (adhesions), hypoxia (decreased circulation), atrophy (weakening) and nociception (pain) — a specific progression commonly known as the Cumulative Injury Cycle.

As we heal, our body forms scar tissue. This scar tissue, unfortunately, infiltrates surrounding soft tissues causing adhesions between adjacent structures (i.e. muscles, ligaments, nerves). Our body, and the structures within, are enveloped in a flexible covering of connective tissue, which we call fascia. Scar tissue can adhere fascia to the above mentioned tissues, preventing them from moving and sliding efficiently through their interstitial space. This loss of mobility is called tissue tension. Tissue tension and adhesions can cause a number of signs and symptoms, frequently in the form of decreased of range of motion, weakness, soreness, stiffness, numbness, tingling and/or pain. 

These cumulative trauma disorders can include tendonitis or tendinosis of the rotator cuff, triceps, biceps, Achilles tendon, patellar tendon, quadriceps, hamstring, adductors, tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, and iliopsoas. They can also include conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, DeQuervain’s tenosynovitis, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff impingement, myofascial neck pain, thoracic outlet syndrome, low back pain, piriformis syndrome, sciatica, ITB friction syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), shin splints, compartment syndrome, and plantar fasciitis. More commonly, symptoms such as lateral elbow pain or medial arm pain are usually caused by entrapment of long peripheral nerves in the upper extremity. These include peripheral nerves such as the radial nerve, median nerve, ulnar nerve, dorsal scapular nerve, axillary nerve, suprascapular nerve, long thoracic nerve, medial pectoral nerve and the musculocutaneous nerve. The lower extremity can be affected by an extended number of entrapments including the sciatic nerve, saphenous nerve, genitofemoral nerve, posterior cutaneous nerve, superior gluteal nerve, femoral nerve, posterior tibial nerve, common peroneal (fibular) nerve, deep peroneal (fibular) nerve and the medial calcaneal nerve. We may also see superficial entrapments throughout the various cutaneous nerve distributions of the upper and lower extremities.

At Kick Physiotherapy & Sports Medicine Inc., ART® is used to assess and treat movement dysfunction through the constant evaluation of tissue texture, tightness and movement muscles, tendons, fascia, ligaments and nerves. This soft tissue management system uniquely combines over 500 specific treatment protocols. During your ART visit, your therapist will apply precisely directed tension combined with specific body movements, in order to “free up” involved tissue and resolve any structural entrapment. Treatment is non-invasive and safe. Discomfort can be expected, however, it is temporary. 

Proficiency of ART is most important. Active Release Techniques is a hands-on approach which requires a refined sense of touch and experience. ART® practitioners have committed a great deal of time, effort and resources during their ART training regimen. If you are unsure about your therapist’s training, you can contact the ART home office to verify if your practitioner is ART® certified.