Whether you’ve realized it or not, there is most definitely such a thing as passive release therapy. As a matter of fact, passive release therapy is much more common than A.R.T. given that the latter has only truly spiked in its proliferation in this twenty-first century. The thing about passive release is that there is no such technique named passive release technique or anything similar to that; rather, there are loads of different methods of treating inflammation, deep tissue pain, and other such physical ailments. Passive release is much less a technique and much more a category or vein of mainstream applications that are all quite different from one another. There are many types of passive massage therapy tactics, ice baths, and all the disparate methods in between including invasive surgery, and each of these methods intended to reduce a patient’s pain attempt to do so with very little effect on the root of the problem.
The Significance of Active Motion
Active Release Technique involves deep tissue therapy in tandem with active motion and stretching simultaneously. The active motion is what actually breaks down the scar tissue that develops over a long period of time. The sustained injuries can be acute injuries or just as likely repetitive strain over the course of a long duration. Athletes, of course, are far more susceptible to these kinds of injuries than most, but everyone suffers these kinds of problems. When adhesions form in the muscle, they don’t allow the muscle to fully experience its whole range of motion, and that obstruction can be painful.
In many cases wherein muscles are registering pain and restriction of motion, it becomes impossible for the muscle to naturally relax because its fascia and muscle layers tangle, for lack of a better word, in their overlapping when, ordinarily, they stretch parallel to one another. Most therapies and other treatments are passive because they do not deal with this root issue, yet A.R.T. targets these adhesions and attempts to essentially use motion and digital contact to, more or less, use active movement to release the adhesions. The hands basically comb through the fascia and muscle layers to straighten out the layers. The movements on the part of the patient as directed by the practitioner allow the hands of the practitioner to isolate the target muscles for this purpose.
Application of A.R.T. to Hamstrings
The hamstring is a muscle that is notorious for injury among athletes but also among any average joe. The hamstrings, along with many other muscles like the glutes and hip flexors are muscles that contribute to the core’s efforts to stabilize the spine. As such, this is one of several muscles of which your chiropractor is likely to take stock if your primary complaint is of back pain. These core muscles, like the hamstring, are constantly putting in an awful lot of work to support the spine through a large variety of positions, so when there is an acute injury or even sciatic pain, A.R.T. is one of the most effective means by which to alleviate this discomfort.
All of the aforementioned muscles can tighten up in any of a myriad of ways, and in all their contracting and expanding, the contractions of these muscles are the parts of their ranges of motion in which that tightness can fester. A practitioner of A.R.T. works this differently than a practitioner of just about anything else. In response to that tightness, he or she will manually break up the scar tissue in the target muscles while expanding the muscles in order to feel the adhesions that need to be compromised in order for the muscle to function properly and without pain.
Application of A.R.T. on the Erector Spinae
The erector spinae are the muscles that carry the most weight in terms of supporting the lower back. As major stabilizers, these are the muscles in which many people often feel discomfort because of repetitive actions that often involve other muscles with the hips. The technique is applied roughly the same way regardless of what muscle is being treated, and the differences of application mainly amount to little more than differences in digital grip due to the different shapes of different muscles. For the erector spinae, working out the adhesions is best accomplished by way of A.R.T. with the patient sitting on a rubber ball, bending toward one knee while the practitioner digs into these muscles wrapping around the side of the lower back and over the hip.