Active release therapy (ART) is a treatment provided by a registered healthcare professional under the scope of practice of physiotherapy or chiropractic care.

Active release therapy is a hands-on technique that aims to breakdown scar tissue & adhesions within an affected area. Adhesions develop after both acute and chronic injuries as the scar tissue binds surrounding tissue. These adhesions are more commonly referred to as knots and can lead to muscle shortening and a tense feeling in the affected region.

Your therapist will work with you to find and release the most affected areas within your muscles. Common benefits seen with active release therapy are decreased pain, an increase in range of motion and better functional mobility. Treatment will take 5-20 minutes, depending on the nature of your condition and is included within the cost of a normal session.

The use of active release therapy can be used to treat specific conditions including, but not limited to:

  • Chronic neck pain and stiffness
  • Low back pain and/or sciatica
  • Muscular strains
  • Rotator cuff tendinitis
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Elbow injuries including Tennis and Golfer’s elbow

The use of active release therapy may be beneficial in any condition where there is a feeling of stiffness or a limitation in range of motion.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is active release therapy different than other types of treatment like soft tissue release?
    • Active release therapy is a form of soft tissue release that incorporates movement into treatment. The muscle is taken through its range of motion as the therapist applies pressure to the muscle.
  • How long will it take to see results?
    • Generally there is an acute increase in range of motion that is felt immediately after treatment. Results will vary depending on your specific condition and response to treatment.
  • Are there any side-effects to this kind of therapy?
    • You may feel some discomfort as your therapist works out trigger points in the muscles. Post-treatment soreness within the muscle is a common side-effect but generally subsides within a few hours of treatment.