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The Active Release Techniques Soft Tissue Management System was developed and founded by Dr. Michael Leahy, DC, CCSP. Dr. Leahy is currently conducting research with the University of California San Diego Medical School on cumulative trauma disorders. Additionally, he serves on the Colorado Division of Worker’s Compensation Guidelines Committee for the treatment of cumulative trauma disorders. Dr. Leahy’s works have been published in several peer- reviewed journals.

Active Release provides a way to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of a variety of conditions collectively called cumulative trauma disorders. These disorders are also known as repetitive stress injuries or "overuse" syndromes. These syndromes are given familiar names like rotator cuff syndrome, tendonitis and plantar fascitis. Other conditions that fall directly into this category are post- operative scar tissue, carpal tunnel, chronic low back pain, and hyper extension/flexion injury (whiplash).

Understanding Soft Tissue Dysfunction

To understand soft tissue injury, you must comprehend the basic mechanism of cumulative injury. Cumulative trauma disorder is the major injury problem in the workforce and the general population in this country. Federal statistics show that it now surpasses back pain, and worsening by 670 percent in the last 5 years. "Past therapies such as massage, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, rest, exercise and surgery–-have all failed to treat them effectively.” Leahy

Symptoms of cumulative trauma disorders are sensations of tingling, burning, aching and weaknesses. When a muscle, tendon, ligament, or nerve is damaged from trauma or overuse, the body will attempt to repair the damage with scar tissue. These scar tissue adhesions left untreated perpetuate the cumulative injury cycle and result in progressive loss of function and increased pain. Soft tissue dysfunction often leads to a loss of flexibility, strength, and range of motion. People often attribute these losses to "just getting old," but this is seldom the case.

Active Release separates, releases, and stretches the connective tissue adhesions, restores vascular and lymph circulation, and increases your range of motion, flexibility, and strength.

The treatments can be a bit uncomfortable, or even a little painful, but this pain is an important indicator that the problem has been located and signals that the treatments are correcting the injury. Patients often report that it "hurts good."

Regardless of your activity level you can benefit from Active Release. From those who are victims of car accidents -- or even the proud weekend warrior -- Active Release has proven to be a fast, effective, non-invasive way to heal a wide variety of soft tissue injuries.

Why Active Release is Different

Active Release is a highly successful approach to injuries of muscles, tendons, nerves, and the surrounding soft tissues. Active Release is not massage, physiotherapy, or chiropractic care. While those procedures relieve muscle and motion dysfunction, they do not necessarily address the underlying problems caused by scar tissue formation.

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