Active Release Techniques and its use in sports injuries, and performance.

Active Release Techniques (ART) is a patented state of the art treatment for a wide range of soft tissue injuries, and nerve injuries.  It is used by most professional sports teams, Olympic athletes, performers, and triathletes.  It is also used to treat repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, and other overuse syndromes that are not athletic injuries in nature.

ART was invented by a chiropractor in Colorado who has competed in over 35 IM events.  The technique was born out of the treatment of all the possible aches, pains, and injuries that triathletes suffer, and tested in the field at IM events.  The Timex triathlon team members use ART before most events and when they get injured.  The top triathletes in our area when they break down come in for tune ups, or a series of appointments to get them through their injuries and aches and pains from the rigors of triathlon training.  Sometimes they have tried other forms of therapy that didn’t solve the problem and have used home measures like stretching, foam rolling, and over the counter medications before coming in.

Some of the most common ailments, strains and sprains treated successfully with ART technique are: Plantar Fascitis, shin splints, posterior tibial tendonitis, knee pain, IT Band pain, hamstring injuries, quadriceps injuries, hip injuries, piriformis syndrome, lower back pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, hand pain, and TMJ pain.  It also works on cases of numbness and tingling in limbs, and radiating pain from nerves like sciatica.

ART works to break up and remove deep scar tissue from and in between injured muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons, and nerves.  ART uses tension applied by the doctor to the specific areas of scar tissue and then the injured area or muscle is moved from its shortest (contracted) position, through its range of motion into the longest position.  As the tissue passes under the doctors contact point the scar tissue is broken down much like an iron irons out a wrinkle in a shirt.  Multiple passes are made over the scarred area to smooth out and re-align the muscle fibers in the correct orientation.  Results are fast and long lasting.  The average number of treatments for most conditions is between 5-12 visits depending on the length and severity of the symptoms.

If you have been to an IRONMAN event you have probably seen an ART booth set up there.  At most IM events there is a team of therapists there to provide FREE treatment to any competitor during the 3 days prior to race day.  In Kona, we are there for 5 days before the race.  On race day ART therapists are positioned at the swim start, and in the men’s and women’s transition tents for any necessary treatment or injuries during the race.  We are the only form of treatment that is authorized by the IRONMAN staff to be in these areas during the race.

In addition to being the only sports chiropractor in the Mid Hudson Valley who does ART, my training in biomechanics, and experience in treating triathletes can help identify the biomechanical causes of sports injuries.  As discussed in previous articles if you have a biomechanical problem it can cause injuries anywhere along the kinetic chain.  An example of that would be someone who is a pronator or a supinator and not in orthotics or the proper footwear.  This can over time cause foot, ankle, knee, hip, or back injuries.  Recently a Biathlete who is a patient of mine was unable to run due to posterior tibial tendonitis (PTT), hip pain, and lateral compartment syndrome.  During her treatment everything was getting better except for her PTT and she still couldn’t run effectively due to pain in her ankle.  It wasn’t until she was referred by me to a very qualified podiatrist for orthotics that the problem was resolved and she was able to resume training without restrictions. A few months later she qualified for Biathlon world championships in Italy.

The evidence of the effectiveness of ART treatment is in the results that the competitors are achieving.  If you have a question about a sports injury, or have an injury that has not responded to treatment Dr. Ness can be reached at (845) 255-1200, or by filling out our contact form.

Dr. David Ness is a certified sports chiropractor practicing in New Paltz, N.Y.  Dr. Ness is the official chiropractor and Active Release Techniques provider for the Vassar College Athletic Dept.  Dr. Ness  has worked at the Lake Placid Ironman event as part of the ART treatment team since 2004.  Dr. Ness has been the ART provider for the Hudson Valley Tri Club since 2005 years providing free ART care after club races.  Dr. Ness also provides treatment at NYTC races around the NY metro area, and continues to work as part of the SOS Triathlon post-race care team, and at American Zofingen Ultra Duathlon.