Wellness Journal

Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

FEBRUARY 29, 2016 – MSDS

At Active Release Techniques®, a big part of our mission is to make our revolutionary approach to resolving musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) accessible to as many people as possible. Here on the blog, we want to take the time to talk about MSDs, their causes, and how ART® works to treat them. This week we’ve put together an introduction to provide background knowledge for anyone who wants to know more about what ART® does and how it works.

Every muscle in the human body works through a combination of expanding and contracting alongside nerves, ligaments, and tendons. Ligaments connect together two bones at a joint, while tendons connect muscles to bones. Together these elements make up the system that provides movement, strength, speed and flexibility in your body. Musculoskeletal disorders occur when a part of this system doesn’t function properly. Sometimes they occur because a muscle is too tight, sometimes they occur because a muscle has been stretched too far, and other times it is because tissues get stuck together or don’t properly slide on top of each other. Often MSDs cause muscles to put too much pressure on a particular nerve causing pain and weakness.

When MSDs occur, scar tissue is formed. Scar tissue can be formed through performing a motion with a small amplitude or range repeatedly, or when a larger motion is completed with a great deal of force. Once scar tissue is formed, muscles and tendons become tighter resulting in a cycle of re-injury. ART® interrupts that cycle with scientifically applied manual therapy to quickly and effectively resolve soft tissue injuries.

ART® providers are trained to use their hands to feel the muscle tissues in a patient’s body using ART’s palpation technique. Each provider knows exactly where each muscle, tendon, and ligament belongs, how tense tissue should feel, what tissue texture should be, and how each tissue should move. As a patient describes the problem, the ART® provider begins to zero in on the area affected, feeling the muscles and tissues as the patient moves to determine the precise area from which the problem is radiating and where scar tissue has formed. ART® providers’ hands-on approach results in every soft tissue diagnosis being specific to each individual patient. Instead of sending a patient to a doctor’s office or hospital for an expensive medical imagery diagnosis, an ART® provider can spend just a few moments listening to the patient and feeling the movements of their soft tissue structures. Unlike a patient who walks away from a physician or hospital with a general diagnosis (e.g. sprain or carpal tunnel syndrome), a patient seeing an ART® provider not only knows the name of the condition, but also precisely where and why it is occurring. Even better, having received all of this information, the patient need only remain with the provider for a few more minutes to also receive the necessary treatment to resolve the malady.

During treatment the provider will use precisely directed tension combined with very specific patient movements to resolve the issue. In all, there are more than 800 patented ART® treatment movements (called “protocols”) that every ART® provider must know. Treatments usually take less than 15 minutes to administer – less time than many patients spend in the waiting room of the average hospital or doctor’s office. Additionally, considering that diagnosis and treatment of injuries usually require separate appointments at hospitals or doctors’ offices, the relatively brief ART® care process is quite efficient comparatively, with no wait between diagnosis and treatment. ART® also eliminates the costs of a diagnosis using medical imagery technology, medication to keep pain at bay until treatment can be administered, and the elevated cost of an invasive or surgical solution. While patients often require an average of four ART® treatments to resolve an issue completely, the first treatment delivers relief from symptoms and the ability to return immediately to an ordinary workload, and the entire process comes at a much lower cost than the typical treatment process involving advanced medical technology and pharmaceuticals.

MSDs are one of the most common causes for visits to doctors’ offices in the United States. By resolving these MSDs with Active Release Techniques® , we can relieve pain quickly and effectively while preventing more costly and invasive procedures.