DeCarlo Family Chiropractic
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DeCarlo News - Soft-Tissue Technique


Active Release Technique, Myofascial release, is a manual soft-tissue therapy procedure.

When Musculoskeletal damage occurs, spasm, inflammation, and finally adhesion formation occurs during the healing phase. This can occur from a blunt traumatic injury (car accident), or repetitive stress injury (computer station). Muscle does not heal by formation of new muscle but by scar tissue, which eventually leads to bone formation later in life. These adhesions affect the normal muscle function, which in turn leads to muscle weakness, loss of flexibility, and finally pain.

We use a method of manual soft-tissue therapy, ART (active release technique), which is specifically designed for significantly reducing adhesions, which in turn helps with correction of the injury. We find the soft tissue structures that are injured and physically work the region until the texture, tension, and movement is restored. When a patient is treated in our clinic, there is one-on-one contact with the Chiropractor for 15 to 30 minutes. Our normal procedure consists of Spinal and Extremity Adjustments, Active Release for soft-tissue Dysfunction, and Repetitive Stretching, to maintain normalcy. Before ART is performed, we determine if we are dealing with a scar, adhesions, or perhaps inflammation.

ART is used specifically to remove the adhesions by contacting the tissue and having the patient actively draw the muscle under the doctor’s contact. As we contact the involved tissue, specific motions are performed to force the layers of tissue (muscle, tendons, ligaments, fascia) slide over one another. The friction of tissue not moving properly can be felt to the palpable fingers of the doctor. Arteries, Veins, and Nerves can adhere to muscle or fascia causing restriction and compromise. This method softens and stretches the fibrous scar tissue, resulting in decreased restriction to circulation and nerve flow, increased range of motion, and increased strength. The patient is then given repetitive stretching, therapeutic exercise, and proper ergonomics in the work place.

ART can be very uncomfortable for the patient, but which is better: 15 minutes of pain/discomfort or years of scar tissue and eventual bone formation (arthritis)?

“Dr. DeCarlo has been treating me with ART for a severely painful right shoulder (frozen shoulder) with very restricted range of motion and with numbness in my right hand. The results have been remarkable. In just four weeks (seven treatments), I’ve regained virtually complete range of motion, and my pain level is now at the mild, annoying level. All numbness has completely disappeared. I had a similar condition in my left shoulder about two years ago, and it took about six months of physical therapy to achieve the same results.”

Charlie Rolader