Can Active Release Techniques Help With Sports Injuries?
Updated: Aug 12
Active Release Technique is a form of soft tissue treatment that aims to break down adhesions (bundles of scar tissue) that have formed due to overuse or strain. It is an active soft tissue treatment whereby the patient is directed to move the affected muscle in a way that shortens it and then lengthens it, while the practitioner puts pressure on the adhesions.
How are adhesions formed?
You might first notice pain in the affected area after a sudden injury, but it could already have been weakened through repetitive use of the muscle. When you use overuse a muscle, you create micro-tears in the muscle as well as the connective tissue, such as the ligaments and tendons. Over time, scar tissue is formed around these tears to repair and protect the soft tissue, but it can also interfere with normal functioning.
The adhesions can:
• shorten the muscle
• reduce blood flow to the area
• put pressure on the tendons
• link parts of the soft tissue together that shouldn't be linked
• trap nerves
These issues can lead to pain, numbness, weakness, tingling, and burning. They can also reduce your range of motion, reduce your strength, and make the muscle unstable.
How does Active Release Technique work?
There are over 500 techniques within ART, and your practitioner will go through a diagnostic process beforehand to determine where the adhesions are and what the best type of techniques to use will be. When they put pressure on the adhesion as you shorten and lengthen the muscle, this can break up the scar tissue, which releases the tension, restores blood flow to the area, and releases any trapped nerves.
It is often a relatively fast-acting technique, especially when compared to other soft tissue techniques because it directly breaks up the adhesions. This can also mean that the results are longer lasting than they would be with other techniques.
How can Active Release Technique help with sports injuries?
More and more professional sports teams are using Active Release Technique to help their athletes stay on top form and to help them recover from injuries at a faster rate. If you regularly take part in a sport, you will be using the same muscles over and over again, and this can leave you more at risk of adhesions forming. If you then suffer an acute injury, it may take you longer to recover if you don't address the underlying adhesions.
Active Release Technique can help you to recover from your acute injury, and it can help your muscle and connective tissue to function at their optimal level. This can help you to recover more quickly and it can reduce your risk of suffering a further injury.
Active Release Technique is a popular and effective method for treating sports injuries. It is non-invasive and can help you to recover more quickly. It can also help to reduce the chance of further injuries by restoring mobility and function to your muscle and connective tissue by breaking up adhesions that have formed due to over-use.