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Active Release Techniques® (ART®) Therapy


How do you know if Active Release Techniques® (ART® ) is for you?


Your range of motion is limited.


You don’t seem to have had a major injury, but have a steady daily routine (ex. typing at a desk job).


You’re looking for an alternative to medication or surgery, but not quite ready for PRP Therapy.


Getting back to the activities you enjoy your goal.

Active Release Techniques is recommended for individuals dealing with soft-tissue or nerve conditions.

What health conditions may Active Release Techniques help alleviate?

ART is a non-invasive diagnostic and treatment soft-tissue method. There is no reason to “just live with” the soft-tissue pain and dysfunction, take risky or invasive procedures as a first approach, or endure countless visits to a provider without improvement.

As the first and only patented manual soft-tissue treatment system, Active Release Techniques® (ART®) uses more than 500 detailed, soft-tissue, treatment protocols to help individualize care for patients with a wide range of health conditions including:

  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Ankle injuries
  • Back pain
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • De Quervain’s tenosynovitis
  • Foot pain
  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)
  • Golfer’s elbow
  • Hand injuries
  • Headaches
  • Hip pain
  • Iliotibial band syndrome (IT band syndrome)
  • Knee pain
  • Leg injuries
  • Mid-back pain
  • Migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Radial Tunnel Syndrome
  • Repetitive strain injuries (cumulative trauma disorders)
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  • Running injuries
  • Shin splints
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sports injuries
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis elbow
  • Throwing injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ)
  • Ulnar Neuropathy (Cubital Tunnel Syndrome)
  • Whiplash
  • Wrist injuries
  • And more!

*There are many types of muscle work techniques and therapies available. At Loehr Health Center, your provider will discuss which treatments they think may be a right fit for you including other forms of myofascial therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, functional movement training, or seeing a chiropractor.

What is Active Release Techniques?

Active Release Techniques®, otherwise known as ART, is no cookie-cutter massage treatment. ART is the Gold Standard in Soft-Tissue Therapy ™ and is a technique that hones its focus on working out soft tissue problems. It is used to treat chronic issues with the muscles, fascia, nerves, tendons, and ligaments stemming from overuse.

ART began in 1984 when chiropractor Dr. Michael Leahy graduated from Los Angeles Chiropractic College and was unhappy with the traditional soft-tissue treatment methods—especially for Olympic and professional athletes who needed to get back to training. By 1988, he developed the Active Release Techniques system and credentialed over 20,000 other providers.

Today, ART-trained providers serve athletes from all many different sports and levels to recover from injury and optimize performance including PGA golfers, Olympic Athletes, IRONMAN tri-athletes, collegiate sports and teams in the MLB, NFL,NBA, NHL, and NCAA.

Cyclist on road

Active Release Techniques Therapy FAQs and Answers

Active Release Technique is usually part of an individualized treatment plan that includes other services. The cost of an ART treatment by itself is: $50 per 15 minute session. Most patients with ART as part of their treatment plan do not have more than a 15 minute ART session. The length of the session is based on the patient’s specific injury and treatment goals.

Active Release Technique should not hurt. You should tell your provider immediately if the treatment crosses the line from uncomfortable to painful—especially if it is intense. Some of the motions your ART provider may ask you to do might cause temporary muscle discomfort. You may be sore after a treatment session similarly to after completing a strength training exercise.

Any pain or discomfort greater than soreness is extremely rare after an ART session and your provider should be notified.

Active Release Techniques therapy treatments are NOT covered by insurance.

A health savings account (HSA) may be used to pay for lab fees if they are part of medical care, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A patient may also submit a claim to their insurance company for potential partial or full reimbursement of lab work.

We accept Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) to pre-pay these services in advance. We will provide you with all of the required receipts to submit these services. Please note that most HSAs and FSAs will allow you to pre-pay for these services in advance. However, it is the account holder’s responsibility to determine the limitations with their contact person who holds these specific guidelines.

For many other services at our office, we are in-network with various insurance companies. We will run your insurance benefits prior to your first appointment so that you know what is covered before receiving treatment.

Every patient is different. On average, ART patients at Loehr Health Center see results between two to six visits. Some patients may be asked to complete “homework” like at-home exercises between ART sessions and take an active role in their recovery. More severe cases may require more sessions before patients experience greater relief.

Loehr Health Center is committed to providing all of our patients with exceptional care. When a patient cancels without giving enough notice, they prevent another patient from being seen. Please call us at 417-887-8075, 24 hours prior to your scheduled appointment to notify us of any changes or cancellations. If prior notification is not given, you will be charged for the missed appointment.

Active Release Techniques (ART) Research

Effects of the Active Release Technique on Pain and Range of Motion of Patients with Chronic Neck Pain | J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Aug; 27(8): 2461–2464.  doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.2461

Conclusion: “This study compared the VAS score, PPT, and ROM across 24 subjects with chronic neck pain receiving ART, JM, or no treatment. It revealed that ART and JM both positively affected the VAS score, PPT, and ROM, and that the two methods demonstrated few significant differences in their effects. Thus, ART and JM are both effective for the treatment of patients with chronic neck pain, but ART demonstrated a trend toward greater effectiveness for patients with neck pain involving soft tissue injury. Therefore, ART appears to be a better option for treating patients with chronic neck pain in the clinical setting.”

The Conservative Treatment of Trigger Thumb Using Graston Techniques and Active Release Techniques | J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2006 Dec; 50(4):249-54.

Conclusion: “A patient with trigger thumb appeared to be relieved of his pain and disability after a treatment plan of GT and ART.”

Comparative Study of Active Release Technique and Myofascial Release Technique in Treatment of Patients with Upper Trapezius Spasm | J Clin and Diag Res. 2018 Nov; Vol-12(11): YC01-YC04. DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2018/37558.12218

Conclusion: “Although both techniques are effective in alleviation of symptoms and associated disability in upper trapezius muscle spasm, ART gave better results as compared to MFR (Myofascial Release).”

Have another Active Release Techniques therapy question? We’re happy to help.

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