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Active Release Techniques
Active release techniques relieve pain by using manually applied pressure to facilitate the break up of scar tissue. They can successfully treat the pain from a variety of different conditions that are caused by a buildup of excess scar tissue.
When they first hear about Active Release Techniques, many patients think that it’s a type of massage. But they soon learn differently. Massage is rubbing and kneading of muscles. Active release techniques are a more powerful myofascial technique that can alter tissue composition–breaking up the scar tissue that’s causing pain.
Scar tissue forms as the body tries to heal a wound or injury. Scar tissue is replacement tissue that’s never quite as good as the tissue it replaces. Usually it’s good enough. But problems can come when the body produces too much scar tissue. When this happens in a joint, say the shoulder, it limits its range of motion and can cause pain. Scar tissue can also form adhesion–bands that connect two other pieces of tissue together that should be kept separate. This can happen to both muscles and soft tissue. In either case, adhesions often cause pain and limit function.
The key to treatment is to loosen or break up the scar tissue. Using hand pressure, active release breaks up both adhesions and scar tissue. It uses precisely directed tension that is helped along by very specific patient movements, with the patient stretching or flexing the problem area as needed. It’s one treatment where the patient actively participates in the treatment: that’s the active part of Active Release Techniques
Breaking up Adhesion
Removing adhesions increases the flexibility of joints and muscles. Loosening or breaking up scar tissue increase blood flow. This has many benefits: it allows muscles to work harder, promotes healing and reduces or eliminates pain. Unlike many conventional treatments, active release doesn’t take long for its effects to be felt. And many people can work out right after a treatment, which helps affected muscles regain their function even quicker.
Some of the many conditions that active release techniques can successfully treat include:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Spinal pain and dysfunction
- Tendonitis and other soft tissue inflammations of the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle, and foot
- Muscle and ligament sprains and strains
Active release techniques are only one of the effective treatments for scar tissue-related pain. Other common treatments include the Graston Technique and stretching exercise. Usually, a combination of techniques works best at eliminating scar tissue, adhesions and myofascial restrictions and the pain that it’s causing.