Active Release Technique Is The Gold Standard Of Soft Tissue Injuries

Although there are many soft tissue techniques, Active Release Technique should be considered the gold standard among the doctors and other practitioners in the healthcare field who utilize any form of hands-on therapy or soft tissue manipulation or massage therapy. You can certainly read about Active Release Technique (ART) on their own website. Instead of regurgitating that information to you, I would like to give you a deeper perspective about how I use ART in my office and in the corporate setting, and some of the many benefits by patients have seen.

Decrease Workers Comp Claims

For starters, for the past six years I have been hired by Pepsi as an independent contractor to go in on-site and treat many of their employees. A good majority of these employees are people who lift thousands of cases of soda every single day. Ever since we began this program at Pepsi, there has not been one workers comp claim filed due to injury in the workplace. Since they are saving so much money on Worker’s Compensation claims, and workers not having to take time off of work due to injury, they continue to utilize my services every week.

Another company that utilizes the same services is Ingersoll Rand. Their employees come in on an as need basis into my office so that they can receive the same level of care as Pepsi does. ART has contracts with some of the largest companies in the country because of the amount of money that they are saving their employees by keeping them injury free, keeping them healthy, and when problems start to arise active release techniques can quickly and efficiently resolve those problems before they become worse.

Ironman Triathlon Athletes

There is also a strong partnership between ART and Ironman triathlon. If you attend an Ironman competition or are participating, you’ll notice the active release technique practitioners are the treatment of choice for the many repetitive strain injuries, like plantar fasciitis, that the athletes sustain when competing in these endurance events. There are countless examples of athletes who thought they could not compete due to their injuries and were surprised and relieved after even one treatment that they were able to compete at full capacity. The leading and most elite athletes in the world seek to be treated by active release technique practitioners and rightly so.


The level of study of anatomy by active release technique practitioners goes far above any other soft tissue modalities. Most hands-on practitioners have a working knowledge of the musculoskeletal system. The understanding of an active release technique practitioner is far more advanced in their understanding of the anatomy involved with soft tissue injuries. The practitioner must not only know the location of all of the muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and bones, but they have must also have a high complexity understanding of how all of these tissues interact, how they are layered and how they function synergistically. Just knowing the general location of a particular nerve or muscle would do nothing more than give a practitioner a general location and general treatment to be applied for the patient. A nerve may be entrapped at several specific locations between scar tissue and several other nearby structures. Without knowing which structures are layered in relation to the affected area, a general treatment will be very limited in its ability to help people.

ART is so effective when used by the highly trained practitioner that it is often expected that most people’s soft tissue injuries due from repetitive strain are completely resolve within 3 to 6 treatments. Repetitive injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome and plantar fasciitis are often considered debilitating injuries that a patient could have for months or even years, and may possibly even need surgical intervention. ART practitioners often provide fast relief, even within the first treatment for these types of problems.

You may have some form of soft tissue injury, repetitive strain, or long-standing scar tissue buildup, anywhere between the top of your head to the tips of your toes and there are specific protocols and techniques that active release techniques have in their arsenal to help you.


A very common condition I see patients coming into the office for his headaches. Often these headaches results from tension, scar tissue, repetitive strain, and for biomechanics leading to issues with the soft tissues in the neck and shoulder region and even in the TMJ muscles. Patients tend to have a cautious optimism hoping that their headaches or any other injury will be resolved quickly and easily. I can often smile in a relaxed manner, fully knowing that I have resolved similar cases using active release techniques many times. I have complete confidence based on my history of working with these types of patients that they will truly be helped in a very short period of time.

Patients who either sit at desk, drive, read or study a lot, or have any other profession that leads to constant and repetitive strain in the upper extremity often complain about pain or discomfort in their shoulders and upper back region. Many of the biomechanics involved with these activities can also entrap the many nerves leaving your neck and going down to the tips of your fingers. It is more often that these entrapments are the cause of numbness, tingling and weakness, and not a closed carpal tunnel requiring surgery to open it back up again.

Low Back and Hip Pain

As a chiropractor, I see patients with low back pain and hip pain every single day. At the time of writing this article, which is 10 years into me being in practice and using active release techniques, I can’t remember one time that a patient came in with pain and they did not leave with some level of relief using active release technique. This is exactly why the highest level and most elite athletes in the world utilize active release technique as a part of their regular regimen to stay and compete at their highest level. Their bodies are their livelihood, and time is of the utmost importance when dealing with any type of injury. In almost all cases when someone has experienced some other soft tissue techniques or manipulation, and then is treated by the proficient ART provider, they will never want to be treated by any other modality ever again. Dramatic changes are often seen within such a short period of time, it’s no wonder that so many companies, patients, and athletes choose to be treated by these types of practitioners first.

I myself, played basketball in college and only wish that I knew about active release technique. Now that I am older and competing in Ironman competitions, I get treated on a weekly basis so that I can continue training at my highest level and not be held back by injuries. Not only can I avoid possible injury, but there is also a dramatic increase in the efficiency in the way that my body works and it’s increased output capability for training and racing.

Patients are often skeptical when some form of therapy or treatment sounds too good to be true. Patients will often only give a very short number of visits with any type of treatment before they decide is not working and move onto something else. This is actually a win for both the doctor and patient when using active release technique. Usually, it only takes one visit to know that there is going to be a definite improvement when undergoing treatment. The absolute worst-case scenario would be one or two treatments and still increasing range of motion and decreasing pain.

Helping People Not Helped Anywhere Else

I truly love having the ability to increase range of motion and decrease pain. My favorite thing, however, is to improve the way that your body functions and completely resolve problems that you may have even been dealing with for 10 or 20 years, that no other doctor or hands-on practitioner have been able to help. It is because of active release technique and applied kinesiology that I am able to do this in my office on a daily basis. My office is not the type of office that necessitates you coming in three times a week for the rest of your life to resolve your problem or injury. Quite frankly, I would get bored and annoyed if I had to treat your same injury for extended periods of time. I do not have the time or interest in having to do that. I want your injuries to be resolved as quickly as possible and let the results speak for themselves. I want to keep all of my patients at the highest level of health on a regular basis and have them be walking billboards for the types of results that people can expect in my office.

Avoid Knee Surgery

Not many things make me more frustrated than a patient being told that the only possible solution to their injury or pain is surgery. There have been countless times when patients have been told that surgery is the only possible answer, and they were told by previously helped patients to come into my office and see if there is any possibility that we can help them without surgery. More times than not, they are able to cancel their surgeries and enjoy complete relief. As an example, I had one patient come to me who is actually the receptionist of another local chiropractor. You would think that since she worked at a chiropractor’s office that he would have been able to completely resolve her problems, however, he did not have the knowledge that a practitioner of active release technique and Applied Kinesiology would have, and was not able to help her. This patient was training for a marathon. As a part of her training regimen, she was biking and had a terrible bike crash. She was told by the orthopedic surgeon that would require a complete knee reconstruction and that it would be at least eight months before she was able to jog again. She came to my office 30 days before her next marathon, and she was able to run in the marathon 30 days later and did not have to receive surgery. She actually was so impressed that she quit her job working for the other chiropractor so that she could “volunteer” her time in my office helping me with receptionist duties for several months.

Avoiding Amputation

Another example of saving a patient from having to have an absolutely terrible surgery was when the wife of another chiropractor in town had come to see me. She was in a terrible car accident 13 years prior and completely shattered her ankle. 13 years later her pain was so intense that she was seriously considering amputation. Please keep in mind that her husband was a chiropractor and if this was able to be resolved within these 13 years, you would have thought that she would have found this relief by now. So now 13 years later coming into my office I treat this patient. I treated this patient one time and due to the extenuating circumstances that she moved out of town, I did not hear from her for six months. When she was back in town she called my office and wanted to be treated again. She stated that she started having just a little bit of discomfort and wanted to schedule an appointment. It was at that point and needed her to clarify what had happened over the last six months. She then proceeded to tell me that after even that one treatment that all of her pain was gone over the last six months, and only now started to have a minimal amount of pain, and just wanted to come in to be treated so that this very minor discomfort did not get any worse.

My point is that well-intentioned and well educated hands-on doctors and practitioners have a severe disability when they have not been trained in ART or in applied kinesiology. They will still often help many patients however, the more difficult and complex cases are typically the ones that come into my office when they have not been able to be helped by anyone else, and usually quickly resolved. At the time of writing this article we have two fully certified active release doctors in our office. Whether you live locally and can come to our office, or do not live locally, I strongly urge you to seek out a health professional in your area that is trained to use active release technique and Applied Kinesiology. You’ll find that there are likely not very many practitioners close by, depending on the size of the city you live in. ART is very expensive for the doctor to learn, intense amount of studying, and very time-consuming to use in their offices. Most doctors are not equipped to spend 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or even an hour to treat their patients. It takes a very specific type of doctor and type of office that would allow the amount of time necessary during the treatment to utilize these modalities.

Nothing To Lose

It does not matter whether you are an elite athlete or not. Everyone deserves their body to function at its highest capability on a day-to-day basis. There is a sign at Pepsi that showcases their employees as “industrial athletes.” It does not matter if you are a professional athlete or not. Every profession in the world requires the use of their body, and if it is not functioning at its highest capacity and/or it is in pain in any way, it can lead to a lifelong misery that need not be there. The industrial athlete, or really any person in the world, whether they are in pain or not, can significantly benefit from this type of treatment. We have discussed many possibilities of resolving pain or discomfort, however, please do not underestimate the ability of active release technique to take even a healthy individual and improve their body and biomechanics and the way that it functions. Please do yourself this favor and see for yourself how incredibly beneficial this can be for you in your life. I would hate for you to be one of the countless number of people who wait 10, 20, 30 or more years and never find relief for their pain. It is not necessary, and not something I would want anybody to have to go through. You have nothing to lose except for a very short period of time. Please feel free to call the office and ask any questions that you may have. We would be glad to answer any and all of your questions, and help you in any way that we can. Thank you so much and I look forward to seeing you in the near future.