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Active Release Techniques®

ART ® is a soft tissue management system developed by P. Michael Leahy, D.C., CCSP. Dr. Leahy is a chiropractor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He utilized his background in aeronautical engineering and anatomy to effectively treat soft tissue problems, which were not responding to other traditional treatments.

The goal of ART® is to restore optimal texture, motion, and function of the soft tissue and release any entrapped nerves or blood vessels. This is accomplished through the removal of adhesions or fibrosis in the soft tissues via the application of specific protocols. Adhesions can occur as a result of acute injury, repetitive motion , and constant pressure or tension. ART® eliminates the pain and dysfunction associated with these adhesions.

Dr. Leahy first began teaching his innovative technique in 1991 using the name myofascial release. Later in 1995, he trademarked the name Active Release Techniques® . This was done for several reasons —

  1. this technique was dealing with more than just muscle and fascia;
  2. second — there are many other techniques which utilize the name myofascial release and many practitioners that utilize myofascial release techniques which are not similar in any way or form to ART®
  3. to standardize the treatment a patient receives and duplicate the high rate of success achieved with ART® , a proficiency level was developed for ART® providers.
There are currently three courses offered: Upper extremity, Spine, Lower extremity.

The types of conditions successfully treated with ART® is very diverse.
Some of the more common conditions are:

  • Carpal tunnel and other peripheral nerve entrapments
  • Spinal pain and dysfuntion
  • Tendonitis and other soft tissue inflammatory disorders of the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, and foot
  • Sciatica, TMJ, recurrent sprains and strains

Only a credentialed ART® provider can ascertain whether ART® might prove beneficial for your condition. To become proficient in ART®, it takes approximately two years of working with patients once a provider has taken the courses and passed the required examinations. Providers must attend annual update seminars to maintain their credentialed status and keep current of any new protocols and research. To verify a provider's credentials, ask to see their certificate from Dr. Leahy or call the ART® main office at 888.396.2727

News of Dr. Leahy’s success in treatment with ART® spread quickly and his expertise is sought after by professional and olympic athletes, movie stars and insurance carriers. His new technique has filled a void in the management of soft tissue conditions.

Do you have more questions about this technique? Try reviewing our Frequently Asked Questions section to find out more about Active Release Techniques® soft tissue treatment.

© 1999 - 2009 Anthony J. Criscuolo, D.C.