Most instances of back pain are related to muscles that have been overused to some degree. Discomfort of this nature may respond well to active release techniques, a form of direct stimulation often compared to massage therapy. It’s a soft tissue system designed to treat issues with muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. For patients having mixed results with other treatments, ART may provide welcome relief.
Identifying Trigger Points
According to Beverly Hills spine surgeons, the purpose of ART is to identify and eliminate trigger spots in muscles that can result in referred back pain. Such pain is sometimes associated with discomfort originating in the back area and felt elsewhere, usually in the thighs or legs via the sciatic nerve. The goal of this specialized form of deep tissue manipulation is to correct muscle function, which eliminates specific pain trigger points.
Unique Treatment Protocols
Developed and patented by Dr. Michael Leahy, ART involves the use of 500 specific moves, or treatment protocols. ART can be highly individualized to each patient’s pain management needs since muscles or muscle groups can be targeted and safely manipulated with the right amount of pressure.
Evaluating Back-Supporting Muscles
ART practitioners use their hands to determine areas where muscles are tense. An evaluation includes a determination of muscle texture and the level of tension in each group of muscles examined. If the pain experienced by a patient is radiating to other locations, a practitioner will make an attempt to identify the true source of the pain.
When to Consider ART
As with other therapies, ART isn’t effective for all types of back pain. Patients with disc herniation causing severe spinal instability, for instance, aren’t likely to experience substantial relief from the technique. ART tends to be a better option for patients with:
- Non-specific low back pain
- Temporary back pain due to muscle tension
- Mild disc degeneration
During an initial ART session, patients will be asked to provide some personal background on their level of pain and medical history and identify any specific areas of concern. Doing so allows the therapist to customize subsequent sessions to increase the odds that a patient will experience meaningful results.
For more information on treating chronic back pain, call The Spine Institute at (310) 828-7757. Schedule an in-person consultation with one of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons in Beverly Hills who can evaluate your back pain and discuss treatment options that meet your individual needs.