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Pros and Cons of the Active Release Technique (ART)


Written by Chris Corrales

January 26, 2022

There are a lot of different techniques that people use when they’re trying to treat muscle pain. One of the most popular techniques is the Active Release Technique or ART. This technique has been used by physical therapists and chiropractors for years and has helped many people get relief from their muscle pain. However, there are also some Pros and Cons to using this technique. In this blog post, we will discuss the Pros and Cons of the Active Release Technique so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for you.

What is Active Release Technique?

Active Release Technique (ART) is a type of massage that is used to help treat injuries. It can be used on muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. The therapist will use their hands to apply pressure and release the tension in the muscle.

There are many benefits of the Active Release Technique. Some of those benefits include:

  • Reduced pain
  • Increased range of motion
  • Improved blood flow
  • Faster healing time

However, there are also some risks associated with Active Release Technique. Those risks include:

  • Injury to the tissues being treated
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Nerve damage or entrapment syndromes

Overall, the Active Release Technique is a great treatment option for many injuries. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if this is the right treatment for you. Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if Active Release Technique is a good option for you.

What Does ART Treat?

Chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and doctors use the Active Release Technique to treat a variety of chronic and acute problems. ART may be appropriate for you if you have soft tissue injuries caused by wear and strain, overuse, or a traumatic accident. The following are examples of injuries and illnesses that the Active Release Technique can treat:

  • Headaches
  • Back and neck pain
  • Shoulder strains
  • Tendinitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sciatica
  • Bursitis
  • Knee pain
  • Shin splints
  • Plantar fasciitis

The Pros and Cons of Active Release Technique

There are pros and cons to using the Active Release Technique (ART). On one hand, it can be very effective in relieving pain symptoms. On the other hand, it can be quite expensive if you have to see a therapist regularly. Additionally, not all therapists are trained in ART, so finding someone who can perform this treatment may be difficult. Here are some of the most important ones:


  • ART can help restore motion and function to the affected area.
  • It is a relatively short procedure, typically lasting between five and fifteen minutes.
  • ART is a non-invasive treatment option.
  • It is effective in treating a wide range of conditions.


  • The technique requires training and experience to use correctly. Improper application can lead to further injury.
  • There is limited scientific evidence to support its efficacy. More research is needed in this area.

How Active Release Technique (ART) works

Adhesions, which are thick collections of scar tissue that occur when muscles and connective tissues are damaged, are broken up by ART. When scar tissue binds between your muscles, it restricts flexibility, resulting in muscle and joint discomfort and stiffness.

Nerves can also be entrapped by adhesions. The soft tissue manipulation used in ART breaks up adhesions, allowing your muscles, joints, and nerves to move freely again.

  • Relieve pain and tension in muscles and joints
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Break up adhesions for long-term relief
  • Reduce inflammation

Your healthcare professional will feel the region and determine the scar tissue’s location during an ART session. They’ll isolate and target the spot using the procedure, manipulating it to break up scar tissue and restore healthy blood flow so the area can recover.

  • Relieves pain and tension in minutes
  • Restores range of motion and function
  • Breaks up scar tissue for healthy healing
  • Quick, easy, and convenient

Goals for treatment

The goal of ART is to dissolve adhesions and restore range of motion while also alleviating discomfort. Muscles and joints can glide and move freely again without pain or stiffness because scar tissue is broken up.

The Message is Simple

ART is a successful treatment for several soft tissue diseases and injuries, including overuse and sports injuries. It can assist in the relief of pain and stiffness, as well as the restoration of range of motion, allowing you to continue your favorite activities.

If you’re considering the Active Release Technique as an option for treating your chronic pain condition, be sure to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Talk to your doctor or therapist to see if ART is a good option for you.

If you’re already using the Active Release Technique, be sure to keep track of how it’s working for you. Note any changes in your pain symptoms, as well as any side effects you may be experiencing. This will help you make an informed decision about whether or not ART is right for you.

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