Active Release Technique

Active Release Techniques® (ART) can be used for every type of soft tissue repetitive strain, or nerve entrapment injury throughout the entire body, such as pain in the back, knee, foot, shoulder, elbow, and hand. Musculoskeletal and neurological problems can consist of pain, restricted motion, numbness, tingling and weakness. Chronic pain is an issue for many people, with back and neck pain affecting nearly one in three, or 75.7 million adults in America1. Although it is common you don’t have to suffer with pain, Dr. Gessay will work with you to create a customized treatment plan that treats the root cause of the pain.

Dr. Gessay has extensive experience treating musculoskeletal and neurological problems. His unique approach combines ART® with NeuroKinetic Therapy and the Zone Chiropractic Technique. These effective treatments can provide long term solutions for people who are experiencing pain, tingling, numbness and other musculoskeletal issues. To appreciate how ART® works, it is helpful to understand the source of your pain and the techniques Dr. Gessay uses to resolve discomfort.

Understanding Your Pain

Pain can come from seemingly small dysfunctions in the musculoskeletal and nervous system. It commonly begins when delicate muscles surrounding and stabilizing the joint complex becomes tight or weak. Over time, repetitive movements from sports, poor posture, extended sitting, lack of stretching, or old injuries can strain the muscles in the body. From there, microtrauma as a result of the strain can occur in muscles, tendons, joint capsules, and ligaments. The microtrauma can be nearly unnoticeable and initially present as tight or aching muscles. When the microtrauma is occurring, the body tries to protect itself by forming scar tissue around the microtrauma. However, this can result in the formation of greater areas of scar tissue, called adhesions, that begin to cause their own pain. Adhesions can result in pain, tightness, stiffness, restricted joint motion and diminished blood flow. This creates a cycle, in which the adhesion creates more strain on muscles which results in more microtrauma. This is called a repetitive strain injury cycle in which people find themselves in chronic and severe musculoskeletal pain.

How does ART® work?

Generally, treatments for musculoskeletal and neurological pain treat the symptom, not the underlying cause. This is because remedies like pain medication, acupuncture, heat, ice, ultrasound etc. do not treat the adhesions. In order to completely resolve musculoskeletal pain, the adhesions have to be removed.

Active Release Techniques® is an effective treatment for musculoskeletal pain because it goes to the source of discomfort by removing the adhesions. Think of ART® as a type of active massage. When you have an ART® treatment in our practice, Dr. Gessay will first assess the source of pain. He will shorten the muscle, tendon, or ligament where the pain is coming from, then apply pressure as you lengthen the muscle. This allows him to feel if the muscle is healthy or has adhesions. If there are scar tissue adhesions in the muscle, Dr. Gessay can develop a plan to treat them through applying targeted pressure. The ART® treatment allows us to analyze and treat the entire kinetic chain of the body, for example working on the hips and pelvis may be effective in resolving low back pain or treatment of the neck may resolve shoulder and arm pain.

Results of Active Release Techniques®

ART® has been found to treat pain in many different painful conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, Achilles tendonitis, and tennis elbow2. Another study found ART® to be effective at treating soft tissue neck injuries by improving the pressure pain threshold and range of motion3.

ART® is so effective, it is the chosen treatment for elite athletes including Ironmen athletes and professional sports teams.

ART® can have very quick results for our patients. Although everyone is different and results will vary, Dr. Gessay has seen patients improve within 4 – 6 treatments. We often recommend both ART® treatments and personalized home stretching and strengthening exercises.

Contact Us

If you have been living with pain, ART® therapy may provide relief. Dr. Ryan Gessay is committed to improving quality of life for his patients and he will assess your needs to develop a personalized treatment plan. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

1 Science Daily
2 Brian A, Kamali A, Michael Leahy P: Release Your Pain: Resolving Repetitive Strain Injuries with Active Release Techniques. Pub Group West, 2005, 15–29.
3 J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Aug; 27(8): 2461–2464.

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12 N Echohawk Ln Ste 104
Eagle, ID 83616

Tuesday: 9:00am to 1:00pm and 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am to 1:00pm and 3:00pm to 6:00pm
Thursday: On call for acute urgent care visits
Friday: 9:00am to 1:00pm and 3:00pm to 5:00pm
Saturday - Monday: Closed