What is Active Therapy?

by Tim Hines-
Elite Performance Chiropractic located in McKinney, Tx.

ART is a patented, soft-tissue mobilization technique preferred by many of today’s top athletes. The goal of ART is similar to sports massage, in that it aims to remove scar tissue from the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Chronic and repetitive injury causes scar tissue to form in the body. Over time this scar tissue becomes adhesion that limits function and can became very painful — even leading to more injury.

Active Release is a very focused approach to aiding the body in recovering from the effects of these chronic injuries. Most often practiced by chiropractors, some have likened ART to a chiropractor’s approach to sports massage. While the end goals may be similar, the techniques are quite different. Swedish massage treats the body with a broad, full-body approach. Sports and therapeutic massage are more focused approaches, treating problem areas. ART is even more focused. Certified practitioners of ART are trained to find the source of the problem, go right to it and treat it directly.

How does it work? A simple way to describe it would be a pin-and-stretch. The ART practitioner finds the adhesion that is limiting the function of the muscle, joint, etc. Pressure is applied to the problem spot, and the muscle, or ligament, or tendon, is stretched while pressure is increased. The effect breaks up the adhesion and frees the surrounding soft-tissue. As a massage therapist who is certified in ART, I look at it as another tool in the tool-box of therapies.

Sometimes, all it takes is a screw-driver to fix something — other times, you might need a hammer — often, both a hammer, screw-driver, and even a wrench are needed. ART is great because it can treat injuries quickly, and creates a faster recovery. It can be a crucial part of your overall care. I find that combining ART with chiropractic adjustments and massage, along with proper conditioning and important things like the right fit of shoes, or a properly balanced bike, all work in conjunction to help you perform at a top level.

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What’s the Hype about Sports Massages?

So, when you decide to go and get a massage to either prep for an upcoming race or recover from a long training event are you selective on who you go see, when you go and what to expect?   

Tim Hines 
Local Massage Therapist, Tim Hines, with Elite Performance Chiropractic located in McKinney, provides us with everything you would want to know about massages. 
 
Massage therapy has a world of benefits for bikers and runners.  Athletic performance, while healthy, also puts stress on the body — particularly when you push yourself to achieve that next goal.  Living takes its toll, and we must take care of our bodies or they will let us know about it.  We need food, sleep, and exercise to maintain ourselves.  Massage therapy, as well, plays an important part in helping the athlete continue to perform at a peak level.

 
Running and biking puts the muscles under stress.  This is good — it’s how the muscles grow and develop — but it also has a down-side.  The stress can create little injuries in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, that if not attended to, leads to a build-up of scar tissue.  That scar tissue can form into web-like bundles we call adhesion.  This is that gristly stuff you sometimes feel when you are palpating a tender area, and the hard knots that ache in your shoulder tops and other places.  Adhesion limits the function of the muscle — decreasing performance and increasing the chance of new and greater injury.
 
Left unchecked it will cause imbalances in the body that start to spread problems from one part to the next — making you run or peddle harder with one leg than the other, for example.  That in turn may cause your hips to start twisting, creating instability in the low back.  The calves of runners can become extremely restricted — leading to problems like plantar-fasciitis or shin-splints.  Adhesion often forms in the upper back of bikers, because they spend so much time hunched over their handle bars.  From there, problems can spread to the neck and arms. Nerves can even became impinged, causing numbness and tingling in the hands.
 
Fortunately we’ve developed a solution over the years that we call massage therapy.  The goal of sports massage is to remove these adhesions — eliminating the painful restrictions and returning the body to proper and balanced function.  A good massage not only unties the knots in the muscles, but it also helps clean out the soft tissue, pushing away lactic acid and toxins and bringing in fresh blood flow, needed for muscle healing and recovery.
 
Athletes report that massage helps reduce the recovery phase their bodies go through, and enhances their build-up phase.  That simply means that the amount of time you feel sore and wiped-out following a performance is lessened.  And your muscles are able to adapt to new demands and grow stronger more effectively because they are free of restriction, and your body is in better balance.
The body does the best it can to deal with the stresses we it put under, but it can always use a helping hand.  Therapeutic massage, especially when combined with chiropractic care, is a natural and healthy way to take care of yourself, and get the most out of your athletic performance.
 
 
Tim is a Massage Therapist for Elite Performance Chiropractic in McKinney, Tx.  www.epcmckinney.com
Tim’s credentials include; LMT, Sports & Therapeutic Massage, ART Full Body Certified, Long Nerve Track Entrapment Certified, Lymphatic Drainage Therapy.  CK SPORTS and Elite Chiropractic partner together in various events.  Every Friday, Rich Miller, owner of Elite Performance offers his services at CK SPORTS from Noon to 1:30pm for local residents who would like a 15 minute analysis of any injury or ache they may have.  Call and schedule your 15 minute session now at 214-383-0088.