TeamRunningFree pic
TeamRunningFree info

ART – ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUES – WHAT is it and WHY it can help you

19.JPGARTACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUES –  WHAT is it and WHY it can help you

Last weekend I participated in my second ART course.  I wanted to share this article on what ART is and some pictures of the course where I was sporting my running free gear.

ART or Active Release Technique is a technique that was developed and refined by chirpractor Dr. Michael Leahy DC, CCSP. It is a soft tissue technique that uses patient generated movement to improve muscle length, decrease adhesions, break up scar tissue, decrease nerve entrapments and improve circulation. ART can be used to treat muscle, tendon, nerve, ligaments and fascia.

As adhesions build in tissue muscle can become shorter and weaker.  This affects both the tissue, joint and nerve mobility around the scarred tissue. Scarring can result in decreased boold flow and mobility to the affected tissue as well.  The goal of ART is to improve the mobility of the tissue, joints and nerve by decreasing adhesions and improving blood flow.

To be trained to perform ART health care providers (massage therapsits, chiropractors and physiothearpists) must take the ART courses and pass the corresponding written and practical exams.  In order to maintain this certification providers must also recertify their ART annually.

ART providers are the main therapy providers for various sports teams and the Ironman series of races.

ART treatment is often combined with other forms of manual and soft tissue treatments such as physiotherapy, joint mobilisations or manipulations, acupuncture and functional exercise.  In combination with working on tissue that is scarred and has decreased length, exercises must also be incorporated to address any muscle imbalances that lead to this condition in the first place. Similarily joint mobilisations or manipulations might be required to address underlying joint restrictions. Your first visit will include a full assessment of joint, nerve and tissue mobility and strength in order to determine the best course of treatment.  Treatment will be individual and specific to the functional sport or work demands of each patient.

If your not sure if you would benefit from ART book in for an assessment and discuss your treatment options with a therapsit.

If you have any questions you can refer to the ART website below or email me for more information

To BOOK AND ASSESSMENT you can call the numbers below

MARKHAM: (905) 910-0012

DOWNTOWN TORONTO: (416) 597-8345

Related Posts

No related posts found.


  • Nice article, and for those thinking of trying ART, don’t wait. The benefits of ART can be almost immediate. I got my first session at the Confed Pk 5k. My back was so stiff I could barely tie my shoes. After 10 minutes, I was touching the ground with the palms of my hands!

    I did a lot of crazy training and racing last year, chasing the Road Warrior title (2nd overall, 26 races). Regular ART sessions, every 1 or 2 weeks depending how things were, was the key to staying on the road. (Yeah, I got injured early in 2011 but that was due to other causes).

    If you are east of Toronto, Dr. Jeremy Barchman at Dynamic Balance Chiropractic in Ajax (1 km north of the Ajax Running Free) is simply awesome! And he too is on Team Running Free. Coincidence? Not a chance.

  • Several years ago I ripped some intercostal muscles in my back playing golf. I seem to re-injure this area often doing yoga or core exercises. Would ART be appropriate for me?


    Great resource for additional info, and they have a search for provider feature that allows you to find the closest practitioner to you and to check out their level of expertise.

    Endurance sports = Injuries -> ART is definitely the way to go here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.