Active Release: Questions You Didn't Know to Ask

Active Release: Questions You Didn't Know to Ask

We find that people are always looking for ways to improve their quality of life, and chiropractic is a great way to do that. The good thing is that it isn’t just for injuries, it’s for anyone who wants to stay aligned and keep their body moving the way they need it to. One way to accomplish this is through the Active Release Technique (ART). Believe it or not, chiropractors can learn a lot about your body through ART as they can identify the approximate age of an injury and any points of tension. This technique can reduce pain, relieve headaches, and increase flexibility and range of motion.

What is the Active Release Technique?

Active Release treats issues with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. This is accomplished by first identifying the problem area. Once the problem area is identified, I apply pressure to the point of resistance and slowly stretch the body part that is associated with that muscle, tendon, etc. For example, if you’re experiencing shoulder pain, I would apply pressure to the problem point and slowly stretch your arm.

Is the Active Release Technique the same as Myofascial Release?

While both methods are technically used to reach the same goal, Active Release is the gold standard of treatment. Myofascia Release uses massage, which increases the blood flow to the injury but doesn’t necessarily promote direct healing. Active Release, on the other hand, forms microtears which allow any nerves, ligaments, etc. to reform healthy connections.

Does the Active Release vary depending on the patient and/or injury?

Though the core concept of Active Release is the same for every patient, each treatment varies depending on the location of the injury and the patient’s pain tolerance and mobility.

Is Active Release painful?

While stretching should push your limits to a certain extent, it shouldn’t be painful. I take careful notice of what a patient can handle to determine what level of mobility they have and how much pressure to use.

How long does it take to feel the effects of Active Release?

After one appointment, I can feel a difference in the mobility of the problem area. For patients, they almost always feel immediate relief after one treatment. If a patient has a recent injury like a sprained ankle or a pulled muscle, he/she will feel better before walking out of the office. If it’s an overuse injury, it depends on how many joints and muscles are involved, but the patient will still experience some level of relief after one appointment.

With that being said, everyone is encouraged to do a maintenance program that keeps their range of motion optimal so future injury-related treatments will be minimal.

What specific ailments or injuries does Active Release help?

At Strack Chiropractic and Wellness, we use the Active Release Technique whether you have an injury or not. However, we recommend it especially for patients with lower back pain, plantar fasciitis, headaches, shoulder pain, and sports injuries. We treat a lot of athletes with Active Release because they’re determined to have a quick recovery. With Active Release, the healing process is sped along significantly, helping athletes to get back into the game as soon as possible.

How often should patients have Active Release done?

Frequency depends on patient’s goals. With athletes, they need to get back to training or playing as soon as possible, so we will do 2-3 times a week for a few weeks and then taper off treatments until the range of motion is symmetrical and the injury is gone. For other patients, our goals change. We need to get them out of pain so they can get back to participating in daily activities without pain. Treatments in the office, plus ergonomic support are both offered so we can minimize time in the office and get them pain free as quick as possible. Sometimes it's twice a week for a few weeks, sometimes it is just a few treatments.

Is Active Release effective for old injuries?

Yes. I can find a problem point and determine If the injury is old or new depending on how it feels. Old injuries feel tough and thick, while healthy tissue has a flexible and spongy feel to it.

We’re big believers in the Active Release Technique at Strack Chiropractic and Wellness and we’re one of the only chiropractic offices in Woodstock that offers ART. We would love to get you in the office to get adjusted or work on an injury. Contact us if you have any other questions or schedule an appointment!

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