Dr. Kevin Toss DC, DACBSP
Diplomate American Chiropractic Boards Sports Physicians
Staten Island, NY - 718-966-7000
Clifton, NJ - 973-777-2536
Active Release Technique - ART
Active Release Technique, or ART, is a patented unique system of treating musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. It is designed to restore function to muscles and joints by removing scar tissue, or what doctors like to call, adhesions. These adhesions form when there is friction between individual fibers of a single muscle or in between distinct muscle groups altogether. Adhesions can arise from a single traumatic event or injury but occur most commonly from
micro-trauma, whereby a low stress action is repeated over and over again until the body
tissues start to change and adapt in a negative way. Adhesions act like a “glue” and allow
fibers to stick to each other restricting motion and eventually causing pain.
ART is a manual therapy where the doctor places his or her hand on the affected region and tries to strip the scar tissue away while "actively" moving the patient through the appropriate range of motion. This differs from conventional massage in several ways. First, it is functional, and the tissues move during treatment as they would when they are being used during normal actions. The effectiveness of this method can be seen, for example, when adhesions are removed from a baseball pitcher’s arm while his arm moves through the range of motion that he would use while throwing. This can be applied to any sport or other activity. Second, unlike conventional massage, ART allows body tissues to be separated from each other. Here, the doctor’s hand contact may hold back one muscle, for example, while the patient’s motion pulls another muscle past it thus separating surfaces. This application has proved to be the most successful non-surgical way of treating nerve entrapment syndromes such as carpal tunnel and sciatica,a nerve past or through the site that was entrapping it.
Because of the complexity of the technique and the specific knowledge of precise anatomical
locations of over 300 structures required, ART providers must undergo rigorous training for certification. This includes both classroom lectures as well as countless hours of hands on
work to refine and hone tactical skills of traction, compression and glide. A minimum passing
grade of 90 percent is required for credentialing on both a written and a practical hands-on
examination for each of the ART protocols: Spine, Upper Extremity, Lower Extremity and the Nerve Entrapment course. In addition, yearly re-certification is required to maintain active status as an ART provider.
Conditions commonly treated with ART
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Rotator Cuff Syndrome
Plantar Fascitis and Heel Pain