Active Release Technique (ART): Definition, History, Uses, Treatment & Research Studies


History of Active Release Technique (ART)

Active release technique (ART) was developed by  Dr. P. Michael Leahy to help with the management system of soft tissue. The method focuses on relieving tension in the tissue caused by over-use or repetitive movement. It is aimed to treat soft tissue mobility problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments fascia and nerves. The procedure of active release treats ailments such as headaches, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, and other myofascial issues.

What is Active Release Technique (ART)?

The active release technique (ART) is a manual treatment strategy that is utilized for the recuperation of capacity inside soft tissue, which concentrates on expelling scar tissue that may cause stiffness, pain, mechanical dysfunctions and muscle shortcomings.49 

Who uses Active Release Technique?

Practitioners who use the active release technique include chiropractors, physical therapists, osteopathic physicians , and occupational therapists. An initial certification is needed to practice this technique, and the certification must be maintained by attending an annual seminar.

How is Active Release Technique performed?

Active release technique uses manual touch to locate and address the area of pain. During treatment the practitioner applies deep tension in and around the area of tenderness to locate and remove fibrosis/scar tissue.

Active Release Technique (ART) Research Studies

There is just a single randomized investigation that takes a gander at the utilizations of ART, with the remainder of the examinations being pilot . The randomized clinical trial done by Kim, et al took a gander at 24 subjects with a past filled with neck pain that kept going over three months, and took a gander at the viability of utilizing ART to expand the range of motion in patients.49  The results of the examination demonstrate that utilizing ART and joint preparation indicate improvement for chronic neck pain; in any case, ART showed a more prominent change for patients with neck pain including soft tissue injury. Accordingly, the investigation presumed that ART gives off an impression of being a superior choice in short term to treat patients with chronic neck pain.49  Notwithstanding, because of the little sample size and restricted data with respect to patient function activities, it is difficult to conclude that the treatment is clinically effective. In spite of the fact that it was discovered that ART can be effective for sort term, the sample size is too little and the investigation did not take a gander at any parts of long-term effectiveness, patient’s function activities, so further examinations would be expected to assess that.


*Information provided in the table is based upon therapist and patient interviews, information collected from the technique provider’s website, and video analysis of the treatment being performed.

What is the Efficiency of Active Release Technique?

Active release technique claims to loosen the soft tissue to help with movement, releases entrapped nerves, and works to re-establish optimal texture, resilience, and function within the soft tissue. The goal is to break up the adhesions that might be the causing the pain. There is little scientific proof with regards to the effectiveness of this treatment.

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Reviews collected from various websites


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