Active Release Therapy (ART)

About Active Release Therapy (ART)


For the effective treatment of:

  • Adhesions and scar tissue.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Nerve and blood vessel entrapment.

The goal of ART is to restore the smooth movement of tissues and to release any entrapped nerves or blood vessels.

What Is Active Release Therapy?


Active Release Technique (ART) is an advanced, patented hands-on therapy that treats damaged soft tissue and injuries. The term ‘soft tissue’ means muscles, nerves, tendons and the fascia surrounding the muscles. Over the years, Active Release Therapy has proven to be a breakthrough in treating many soft tissue injuries.

Active Release Technique has successfully resolved many injuries that were deemed untreatable. Specific injuries that have been treated with Active Release Therapy include:

  • Repetitive strains
  • Muscle sprain
  • Joint dysfunction
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Chronic back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee problems
  • Tennis elbow
  • Shin splits
  • Joint dysfunction

Many joint and muscle related problems happen due to overuse. A series of Active Release treatments can give relief and resolve these issues. The technique involves stretching muscles and tendons and applying pressure to break down scar tissue to increase the flow of blood to the affected areas.

Find out how we can help you. Schedule an appointment today.

Common Questions


ART has been pioneered, developed and patented by P. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy noticed that his patients’ symptoms and pain were closely related to changes in their soft tissue that could be felt by the hand. By analyzing how muscles, ligaments, and nerves responded to different kinds of work, Dr. Leahy was able to formulate the Active Release Technique which resolved 90 percent of his patients’ problems.

The Active Release Therapist makes use of hands to evaluate the tightness, texture and movement of muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. The massage technique involves specific skillful movement that consists of more than 500 types of specific moves targeted on a case by case basis.

During the process of Active Release Therapy massage, you may experience a slight uncomfortable feeling but this is actually good news because you are moving faster towards recovery. The logic of the ‘good pain’ is that during the massage, scar tissue or adhesions are broken down, making it easy for you to recover quickly. Duplication of pain symptoms imply that the problem has been identified.

The time period for the treatment differs on a case-by-case basis. On average, 4-11 visits (each about 15-30 minutes) are enough for correcting soft tissue problems.

Those who are certified in Active Release Techniques are legally authorized to provide treatment. Get in touch with the Active Release Home Office in Colorado Springs (888-396-2727) to know if you are dealing with a legitimate Active Release Therapist. You can also ask your ART provider to show certification.

Coverage Options


pt Health therapy services are covered by most extended health insurance companies and in some cases Veterans Affairs and Medicare – such as OHIP (Ontario), Alberta Health Care and Medical Service Plan MSP (British Columbia). Not sure if you’re covered? No problem. We can help you find out (and usually within the hour). Just call us toll free at 1-866-749-7461.

At pt Health we believe your health should come first. We take care of the paperwork so you can focus on getting better, plus we offer direct insurance billing, saving you time and up front costs.

Learn More About pt Health Coverage Options

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