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Active Release Technique

Active Release is a technique created to heal the soft tissues in the body, specifically: the muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Treating these structures reduces tension, adhesive buildup, and inflammation, resulting in increased range of motion and often decreased pain. Ultimately, adding pressure to soft tissue structures of the body will reduce tension and allow the body to move more freely, providing the body with the ability to perform optimally.

Connective tissues in the body become tight or restricted from past trauma, overuse, and inactivity. When one waits for their issue to resolve on its own, they delay their healing ability, thus creating a protective response (the body’s way to prevent further injury). Compensation patterns begin to form and create tightness and/or an inability to perform as you once could with painful actions quite often, resulting in a visit to the doctor’s office.

ART (Active Release Technique) provide relief by:

Decreasing Tension

Chronic musculoskeletal conditions have reduced sliding potential and increased friction between adjacent fascial layers (Stecco, 2014). In Layman's terms, there is reduced gliding between soft tissue structures and limits proper motion in the plane in which the structure is intended to move.

Downsizing Inflammation

Downregulated muscle recovery may result in fibrotic tissue in the muscle, leading to a reduced or restricted range of motion, pain, and trigger points. (Hinz, 2012). These organized muscle fibers become disorganized under excess stress. Creating an environment of excess collagen production can lead to “adhesions” or trigger points within the muscle. This explains the need for soft tissue therapy for the muscle.

Reducing Weak or Tight Muscles

Soft tissues tighten from repetitive movements or when the body creates stability by bracing during movement with an injury. Our bodies are highly intelligent and will find any way to compensate for something that is not working properly. Resulting in an increased function on the structures that are not intended to meet the demand and end up compensating for a previous injury. Which can result in painful movement caused by the increased tension on the compensatory musculature.

If you notice a trigger point in your muscle or are experiencing pain with movement, be sure to get checked by a healthcare practitioner trained in ART. You’d be surprised how much it can help! Active Release Technique is the gold standard of soft tissue treatment, which is why we are certified practitioners in ART at Montana Team Chiropractic.

Montana Team



Boris Hinz, Sem H. Phan, Victor J. Thannickal, Marco Prunotto, Alexis Desmoulière, John Varga, Olivier De Wever, Marc Mareel, Giulio Gabbiani, Recent Developments in Myofibroblast Biology: Paradigms for Connective Tissue Remodeling, The American Journal of Pathology, Volume 180, Issue 4, 2012, Pages 1340-1355, ISSN 0002-9440,

Stecco A, Gesi M, Stecco C, Stern R. Fascial components of the myofascial pain syndrome. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2013 Aug;17(8):352. Doi: 10.1007/s11916-013-0352-9. PMID: 23801005.

by Brad Phillips, DC | February 10th, 2022 | Montana Team Chiropractic

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