Active Release Techniques or A.R.T. is a type of massage performed on runners and other athletes to improve tissue qualityand prevent injuries. Today, I have a very special guest post from Dr. Carla Cupido – she’s an amazing therapist here in Vancouver, BC. She is a Chiropractor who is certified to perform A.R.T. and Graston and is really good at what she does. I see her regularly to fix my ailments so I can keep training hard and injury free. I don’t recommend too many people, but I would definitely recommend Dr. Cupido to all runners, athletes and people from the general population.
Let’s get to the good stuff! Dr. Cupido discusses why A.R.T. is important for making you a stronger runner.
Active Release Technique (A.R.T.) ® for Runners
Most runners have now heard of Active Release Technique® or A.R.T.® as an effective treatment option for nagging injuries or for helping to achieve optimal performance. Although it is not the most comfortable treatment in the world, it has certainly been proven successful for running injuries such as:
- Muscle Strains (Acute or Chronic)
- Iliotibial Band (ITB) Irritation / Syndrome
- Anterior / Posterior Tibial Stress Syndrome (shin splints)
- Runner’s Knee / Patellar Tendinopathy
- Achilles Tendinosis
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Snapping Hip Syndromes
- Sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction
- Lumbar Spine Facet Irritation
- Chronic Muscle Hypertonicity (Tightness)
- Post-Ankle Sprain Muscle Dysfunction
- Nerve Entrapments
Active Release Technique® is utilized with the understanding that muscular tissues situated at oblique angles to one another are prone to reactive changes that produce scar tissue, local swelling and resultant pain and tenderness. During A.R.T.®, the clinician applies deep tension at the area of tenderness and the patient actively moves the tissue through the adhesion site from a shortened to a lengthened position. This helps to break up the scar tissue and return the muscle to a healthy state, enabling improved performance and decreased pain.
Of course, determining and managing the cause of the injury or muscle tightness is imperative to ensure it does not return. Therefore, orthopedic, muscle, and functional testing should be performed to develop an optimal plan of management that will include not only passive care provided by the practitioner, but of course active rehabilitation performed by the patient.
Remaining healthy in the sport of running is a team effort. Due to the demands running places on your body, tissue maintenance and preventative functional testing is a good way to remain healthy and strong. Individual rehab and “prehab” programs remain an integral component to every successful runner’s plan!
As Jon Kawamoto says, RUN STRONG!
Dr. Carla Cupido, Hon. B. Kin, D.C.
Certified in A.R.T. ®, Graston® Technique, Kineio® Tape & Functional Movement Systems™