I attribute my ability to keep plugging away in races to smart training, a varied diet, and regular maintenance, including Active Release Technique or better known as simply A.R.T. I've used ART since 2005 and have been mostly injury free over the last seven years. If any injuries do happen to emerge, I head straight for my chiropractor and nip it in the bud.
One of the best doctors I've worked with is Dr. Christina Mullen of Bay Area Chiro Care. I've been seeing her about twice a week for the last seven months, initially going to her for a little sciatic pain. Recently I asked them to provide an overview on A.R.T so I may share it on my site. Here you go. You may contact her directly through their site or contact me for more info.
Active Release Technique Overview
Active Release Technique, or more commonly referred to by its abbreviated title A.R.T, is an analysis and treatment method of soft tissue injuries. Including, but not limited to, Muscles, Tendons, Ligaments, Fascia, Nerves.
Runners and Triathletes are notorious for having what are called ‘overuse injuries’, involving repetitive or accumulative traumas to muscles. Overused muscles can trigger intrinsic changes in your body, often resulting in acute injury such as muscle pulls and tears. Overused muscles are tight and weak. Tight and weak muscles often result in the accumulation of small tears which over time cause your body to produce dense and tough scar tissue in the involved area. Sometimes you can feel this build up of scar tissue yourself. They often feel like knots in the muscle or stringy muscle tone. Scar tissue build-up plus tension from tight and weak muscle tone is not a healthy or safe combination, with Tendonitis and reduced oxygen flow to cells (hypoxia) often being the end result.
The injured athlete will often hobble into my office after [running] on their affected structure longer than they should. During an A.R.T. session I perform both an examination and treatment of involved structures; evaluating the range of motion, tension, texture, and function. Treatment involves a combination of directionally specific applied tension as well as motion of the muscle. Sometimes I will have the patient move the structure or I will do it for them.
Believe it or not there are over 500 treatment protocols, with at least one per muscle. Your physician, be they Chiropractor, Physical Therapist, or athletic trainer, will often perform manipulation of involved joints to improve the effectiveness of the therapy. Depending on the area being treated, visits usually last 15-20 minutes and typically requires between two to eight visits to resolve. Treatments often feel slightly uncomfortable because the practitioner is essentially breaking up the scar tissue and adhesions that have formed over time. This discomfort does not last post-treatment, and many patients often describe it as deep stretch or “hurts so good”.
Dr. Mullen practices in downtown Hayward, CA can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone (510)733-2225