Back2Life   |  Dr. Doug Nagel, Chiropractor, Herndon, VA

How Injuries Occur

Much of what is treated with ART occurs from cumulative injuries that build up over time, gradually accumulating into something that alters the way your body functions.  Over-used muscles (and other soft tissues) change in three important ways:

Acute Injury/Conditions (pulls, tears, collisions, etc):   For example, when you pull a muscle, sprain your ankle, or get “whiplash” from a car accident.  Inflammation sets in, which eventually causes adhesive scar tissue to form over time.

Constant Pressure or Tension Injury (accumulation of small tears (micro-trauma):    For example, a nurse who stands for 10+ hours a day on hard surfaces. This type of injury doesn’t require motion at all. The constant pressure and load on the leg muscles can decrease circulation to the area (starving the area of oxygen), shorten the muscle, and cause adhesive tissue to form from the constant contraction. The problem is, if you don’t break the cumulative injury cycle, it continues to progress, getting worse over time. In other words, it’s self-perpetuating.  ART treatments are designed to break the cumulative injury cycle, keeping people pain-free and limber.

Repetitive Motion:  For example, the constant repetitive stress created from running or someone who types all day on a computer.  This is not as physically rigorous, but the repetitive keyboard strike with the fingers can accumulate 20,000+ movements per day.  It causes a smaller trauma to the tissues than with running, but the number of repetitions is a lot more than with a runner.

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 and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis, and nerves can become trapped. This can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. If a nerve is trapped you may also feel tingling, numbness, and weakness.

The Gold Standard in Soft tissue  healthcare

Active Release Technique

The Benefits

ART is referred to as "the gold standard of soft tissue healthcare," because of it's effectiveness and the many benefits it offers to a broad of conditions:

  • Improves Range of Motion

  • Cleans Out Scar Tissue and Adhesions in Muscles

  • Corrects Soft Tissue and Muscle Problems Successfully

  • Works to Relieve Headaches

  • Treats Joint Conditions

  • Offers Quick Results Through Effective Muscle Targeting

  • Vastly Reduces Pain With Non-invasive Treatment

  • Improves Overall Performance of Muscle Movement and Function 

  • Excellent Technique for Pre- and Post- Surgical Procedures - Shortens Recovery Time

What It Is

Active Release Technique®, also referred to as ART, is a  patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia (a connective tissue that’s all over your body) and nerves.  This non-invasive hands-on therapy is provided by practitioners, who are licensed through their state medical boards, and who have completed post-graduate certifications through Active Release Techniques, LLC.  ART allows a practitioner to diagnose and treat soft-tissue injuries with their hands. 

Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciiatis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART.   These conditions all have one important thing in common:  they are often a result of overused muscles.   Many of the injuries treated with ART are from this type of repetitive stress to an area, overuse or over-training, sprains/strains, muscle pulls, joint dysfunction - when a joint can’t move in certain directions or feels restricted.

How It Works

Every ART® session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART® provider uses his or her 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.  These treatment protocols - over 500 specific moves - are unique to ART®. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART® is not a cookie-cutter approach.

Certified ART providers can recognize the difference in the way an area moves, the tension and tightness that develops in the area, and the change in the texture of the tissues.  The tissues often feel stringy, lumpy, “knotted”, or hardened.  A precise hand or thumb contact is applied to the correct area and the patient is instructed on how to move the affected region of their body, through a specific range of motion, in which the muscle is shortened and then lengthened.  This allows the muscle to slide under the ART providers contact and the adhesive scar tissue to be broken up, allowing it to move and become soft, and no longer being affected by the surrounding structures.  

1033 Sterling Road, Suite #103, Herndon, Virginia 20170

Doug  Nagel, Doctor of Chiropractic 

1033 Sterling Road, Suite #103, Herndon, VA  20170