What is Active Release Technique (ART)?
Active Release Technique is a patented, state-of-art, movement based soft tissue technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves.  It is scarcely available in Richmond.

Who provides Active Release Technique?
There is a small, select group of providers that are trained in Active Release Technique.  Most of the people who get trained are either chiropractors or physical therapists.  One thing to know, if you can find someone who is certified in the technique, they are serious, committed and have invested a lot of time, money, and study into improving their skills.  There are very few providers in the Richmond area who have been trained and are certified in ART.  Most providers who work with professional sports teams and athletes use ART.

What are some of the conditions that Active Release Technique® can be used for?
Headaches, back pain, tendinitis or bursitis, post-surgical scarring, sprains and strains, musculoskeletal problems, sports or exercise injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder/elbow/wrist pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, hip/knee/ankle problems, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) or golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis) are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with Active Release Technique. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

How do overuse conditions occur?
Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) result from three ways:

  • Acute conditions (pulls, tears, sprains/strains, collisions, etc)
  • Accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma, often from repetitive motion)
  • Not getting enough oxygen (hypoxia).

Each of these factors can cause your body to produce tough, dense scar tissue in the affected area. This scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter, weaker and often painful. Range of motion is reduced, stress on tendons can cause tendonitis, and nerves may become trapped.  If a nerve is trapped you may feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

What is an Active Release Technique® treatment like?
Every Active Release Technique session is actually a combination of an examination and treatment. In Richmond, Dr. Lassiter uses his hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves.  Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

How many treatments are needed to treat my problem?
Active Release Technique is different than many other soft-tissue treatments in that healing occurs faster, but with less time.  Each case is different and the care needed will depend on how long the problem has existed.  Usually, approximately 8-10 treatments over a 4-6 week period are all that are needed in our Richmond office.

Can I continue to be active in my sport during treatment?
Rest is a key ingredient along with the treatment, but Active Release Technique will dramatically speed the healing process so that you’re not out of your sport or activity for a long period of time.  Active Release Technique will get you back in action much more quickly.  Overuse is generally the cause of the problem in the first place, so allowing the tissue(s) to heal is important.  You will be given stretches between treatments that will help to continue to elongate the muscle fibers on your own and specific strengthening exercises (often eccentric loading exercises).  In many cases, light exercise may be continued (at a very reduced, pain-free intensity).

Will the problem return again?
When the soft-tissue problem is truly resolved, the symptoms will not return unless the injury happens again.  Other reasons a problem will return are getting back to your activity too soon, increasing the intensity too soon, or failing to restrict or stop activity if you feel pain or feel that something is “not right.”