Yeah; I know my title is redundant, but I don’t care. ART is my favorite proactive and recovery tool, and has become a staple in keeping myself almost injury free, muscle, tendon, and ligament wise anyway. I can’t get too much into it, because I’m not certified in ART, but i know how it works (more or less), and I KNOW how amazingly well it works. Let me share
All of us who are involved in some sort or endurance training, be it running, cycling, swimming, or those out there who are just the weekend warrior, have hit at least one rough time when something just doesn’t feel right, or there’s a constant muscle ache, or maybe even a sharp shooting pain running down an arm or a leg. Most of these things are from a muscle, if not a muscle, then a nerve. With a muscle ache, or pain caused by a knee or hip not tracking right even though we’ve been running/cycling/ect for years, it’s because the muscle has finally been broken down so much that the scar tissue has caused the muscle not to be able to move in the right ROM, or because it’s impeding the fibers from exerting the proper amount of force. This usually causes other muscles to pick up the slack, and therefore the joint tracks wrong, and pain happens. Mine was with my shoulder, due to tearing my rotator cuff when I was 8 or 9 playing baseball(Don’t ask; I somehow was able to throw crazy hard at an early age, but it wasn’t a good thing), then in swimming 2-4x a week in triathlon training, my shoulder constantly felt like it was being compressed. ART fixed it. With the nerves, it’s similar in the way that the nerve gets damaged, and the surrounding tissue encapsulates the nerve to protect it, but then the pain comes back when the nerve is under stress. Happened to my sciatic nerve from my knee to the arch in my foot (piriformis syndrome), stemming from fracturing my major toe in my wreck, and the bones setting differently, and more miles running than I wish to know. ART fixed that too. Here’s how…
Muscles contract and stretch, we all know that, what ART does, is the doc finds the bundle of tissue that needs to be released, holds it and applies pressure in it’s shortest form, then moves the corresponding joint in it’s longest ROM, forcing all the fibers to move through the pressure, and breaking up the bundles of tissue that shouldn’t be there. Yeah; it usually is about as painful as that sounds, BUT it works absolute wonders. Once the scar tissue is gone, and/or the nerve has been released, you’re back to normal, with almost no pain after. You might have some fun bruises, a little like someone just gave you a charlie-horse, but that’s all. Graston ‘scraping’ is involved sometime too, but it too is worth it.
ART doesn’t involve any nasty meds baked up in some lab, and appointments are usually no more than 25-30 minutes, and fix problems in just a couple appointments. I don’t have any trouble with my shoulder outside of it being sorer than my left after a 2hour pool interval session, and I haven’t felt anything in my sciatic in weeks. If you’ve got a nagging injury, or you just feel really tight in your shins or chest, and you think it’s affecting your performance, find a certified ART provider. It’s covered by insurance, and it’s well worth the temporary pain