Specially certified therapists use Active Release Techniques (ART) to diagnose and treat soft tissue injuries created by scar tissue. This manual, hands-on therapy breaks up adhesions which limit normal range of motion causing pain and tension.

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Active Release Technique is a natural, non-invasive therapy that consistently resolves most complaints of muscle stiffness, lost mobility, inflamed joints and pain associated with repetitive motions.

Active Release Technique is a natural, non-invasive therapy that consistently resolves most complaints of muscle stiffness, lost mobility, inflamed joints and pain associated with repetitive motions.


Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue treatment (ART) is a manual therapy administered by trained professionals to certain soft tissue structures of the body. The ART soft tissue management system is based on scientific evidence that muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue develop adhesions within and between them as a result of various injuries that include: acute (sudden injury), cumulative (chronic injury) and pressure (due to poor posture). These adhesions cause the motion of muscles or joints to be altered, resulting in a wide variety of symptoms including pain, weakness and reduced range of motion, numbness and tingling.


Michael Leahy, D.C., currently practicing in Colorado Springs, Colorado, started developing ART in 1984. Prior to practicing chiropractic, Dr. Leahy was an aeronautical engineer with the US Air Force. This engineering background allowed Dr. Leahy to approach soft tissue injuries from a new perspective, evolving into ART. Dr. Leahy is now widely regarded as a top soft tissue expert in the United States and the world.

Active Spine & Sport is the first medical experience I’ve had where the doctor was concerned with the specific cause of my issues, delivering immediate relief and an educated plan for prevention. They have made my life better and I am able to pursue the next step.
— K L


After a diagnosis has been reached based on a history and examination, treatment can be rendered. Since soft tissue injuries created by scar tissue cannot be detected by a machine (such as X-ray or MRI), or by any orthopedic tests, ART is itself a diagnostic tool. The practitioner can determine where the adhesions are, and how severe the soft tissue injury is, simply by his/her touch.
ART is generally performed with a direct contact from the doctor to the patient's skin. The practitioner will find the area to be worked on and either have the patient actively move a body part or passively move the body part for the patient. The practitioner’s contact, coupled with the movement of the patient, allows the adhesions to separate.

The treatment protocols - over 500 specific moves - are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient.


ART goes right after the sights of adhesion in order to break up the scar tissue creating the pain and dysfunction. Since these sights are very sensitive to begin with, ART may create some discomfort described by many patients as a "good hurt". However, pressure is never applied beyond the patient’s tolerance.


Each patient is different. On average, between 2-6 visits (each lasting about 15 - 30 minutes) are required for correction of soft tissue problems. Factors that affect this range include the severity of the problem, the patient’s willingness to participate in their treatment and the patient’s overall health status. Patients must take an active role in their recovery to help reduce the chances of reoccurrence. This may involve strengthening a certain tissue or changing certain activities.

ART is considered one of the most effective and successful therapies for soft tissue injuries. However, like all other techniques ART can’t fix everything. If significant improvement is not seen during the course of treatment, other treatments or referrals will be considered to fully resolve your injury. We do not encourage ongoing treatments if no improvement is seen within several visits.


The quick answer to this is anyone who is in pain due to a soft tissue injury. ART is used in a clinical setting on Professional and Olympic athletes, office workers, laborers, housewives, youth athletes, as well as many others. What these people all have in common is altered movement patterns, but their mechanism or cause is different. ART effectively treats muscles, tendons and ligaments throughout the body that have become congested with scar tissue by freeing up their ability to function and thereby reducing pain.
Active Release Techniques in Fort Worth Texas - Applied by the Chiropractors at Active Spine and Sport Therapy
ART is also effective at treating peripheral nerve entrapments where a nerve has become entangled by scar tissue and has tension or pressure exerted during certain positions or movements. Through a provider’s extensive training, they are taught where the nerves are most likely entrapped and how best to reduce the adhesions. This gives individuals who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and other peripheral nerve entrapments a quick and easy solution to their complaints.

Conservative treatments such as ART should be explored before a person has decided they cannot be helped for their given condition. You don’t have to live with pain! If it’s a soft tissue structure that is causing your pain, it can most likely be fixed.


Only those certified in Active Release Techniques can effectively render treatment. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who claim they provide ART but don’t actually get the true training needed to provide safe and effective treatment.


Performance of any task such as golfing, typing, walking or running can be improved significantly with ART by restoring proper muscle function and movement to allow the body to perform at its most efficient level. Adhesions create drag and tension which requires more energy and effort to accomplish a desired movement. Reaction times can also be improved as muscle function is improved.


ART Corporate Solutions, Inc offers corporate wellness programs as preventative measures to keep employees' muscle and joint systems healthy. By preventing soft tissue injuries, companies can reduce recordable injury rates significantly. Learn more about ART Corporate Solutions.