active release therapy

Soft tissue concerns can be easy to ignore; overlooked and left to resolve on their own, they are actually likely to worsen over time and cause more serious injuries. Soft tissues like muscles, nerves, tendons, and ligaments support important structures and functions of the body and if injuries are left untreated, scar tissue can occur and movement can be impaired. Active Release Technique (ART®) provides over 500 soft tissue treatment protocols and can aid in healing, restore function and mobility, and eliminate the pain of soft tissue injuries. This diversity of protocols allows your chiropractor or rehabilitation practitioners to completely customize a treatment strategy to address your unique injury and goals for healing.

What Is ART?

Active Release Technique is a non-invasive treatment protocol that combines physical manipulation and the movement of tissues at the site of the injury. Using targeted pressure and active stretching, your practitioner will identify, isolate, and break up restrictive scar tissue to promote increased blood flow and healing and release compressed nerves.

What Areas Can Be Treated With ART®?

Pain, injury, and damage to these areas can be treated with Active Release Technique:

  • Muscle: Trauma and overuse injuries to muscles and large muscle groups can be treated with ART®.
  • Tendons And Ligaments: These tissues are vital to mobility and motion. Injury can cause pain and impairment. ART® can relieve the pain and restore function.
  • Fascia: Fascia is a fibrous connective tissue that protects and supports all of the systems throughout your body. Inflammation of your fascia can be treated with ART®.

Six Benefits Of ART®

  1. Improved Range Of Motion: by treating muscles, tendons, and ligaments bound by scar tissue and tightness, full range of motion can be restored.
  2. Treat Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: ART® can aid in the release of compressed nerves in the hand and wrist relieving chronic pain and increasing use and function.
  3. Increased Flexibility: by reducing adhesions around muscles and joint and relaxing muscles naturally ART® treatments can improve flexibility and protect against injury. This is particularly true for areas such as lower back, lower legs, and hamstrings.
  4. Prevent And Treat Headaches: the targeted pressure of ART® can be particularly useful in treating chronic headaches and regular treatments have been shown to prevent headaches in patients who have suffered with them regularly in the past.
  5. Reduced Chronic Lower Back Pain: adhesions and abnormal activations in the upper legs and buttocks can lead to chronic lower back pain and a marked effect on quality of life. ART® can aid in the break up of scar tissue and release compressed nerves to alleviate this restricting pain.
  6. Improved Performance: ART® can promote quicker muscle recovery, restore connective tissue function, increasing flexibility, and prevent tightening and shortening of muscles for athletes thereby preventing mobility impairments and strength loss, and improving performance.

Relieve Pain And Promote Function And Healing With ART® At Shephard Health

Active Release Technique is an innovative, non-invasive, effective treatment option to address a variety of soft tissue injuries.  With over 500 soft tissue treatment protocols, Dr. Jay Shephard will completely customize a treatment strategy to address your unique injury and support your goals for recovery.

As one of Calgary’s Top 3 Rated Chiropractors of 2021, Dr. Shephard uses a variety of treatment modalities to help patients find relief from pain, restore movement and mobility, and achieve overall health and wellness. The Shephard Health team has over 20 years of experience in services ranging from chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation to Active Release Therapy and Biomechanical Analysis. We are committed to providing personalized treatment solutions to our patients with thoughtful care and experienced competence. We offer a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to assure you that we are the right team to help you achieve your goals for wellness and pain-free living. Call us at 1-403-543-7499 or fill out the form to book your appointment.


Q: How long does ART® treatment take?
A: One session is only about 15 minutes. The initial treatment phase is usually about 4-6 treatments followed by assessment. Your chiropractor can advise if further treatments are recommended.

Q: Is ART® treatment different from chiropractic treatment?
A: Active Release Technique is a specific technique used by chiropractors, but it does require extra training and an examination, and not all chiropractors are licensed to practice it. Dr. Shephard at Shephard Health Calgary, Kensington, NW is licensed and can answer any question you may have about ART®.

Q: Does ART® hurt?
A:  A proper ART® treatment should not be painful.  It is non-invasive, so there are no known short or long-term side effects when appropriately delivered by an ART® Certified Provider. Following a treatment session, your tissue may feel like the muscle aches following intense training. Be sure that your ART® provider is certified for the type of injury or disorder for which you are seeking treatment. Professionals who are not credentialed to provide ART® treatments may inadvertently cause muscle and nerve damage by applying incorrect pressure to anatomical structures, causing undue pain or further injury. If it hurts, it is being performed incorrectly.



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