An A.R.T.ful Approach to a Running Injury

So I love museums and all art-related things but that is not the topic here.  This ART relates to injury prevention and injury recovery.

Image result for active release technique

ART stands for Active Release Techniques. It is usually done by a licensed chiropractor or PT.

I am not an expert but since I am currently undergoing it, I thought I’d learn about it and share what I’ve learned here.

So what are Active Release Techniques?

They are defined as “a soft tissue method that focuses on relieving tissue tension via the removal of fibrosis/adhesions which can develop in tissues as a result of overload due to repetitive use.”

How is it done?

Instead of treating a general area, the chiro uses his/her hands to feel for abnormal or damaged tissue in muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments or nerves.

In my case, it was my leg but she also worked on my lower back.

He/she then applies intense and repetitive movement-based massage techniques to release buildup of dense scar tissue, restore normal function and decrease bad pain.  My chiro also used a metal instrument (for “scraping”) in addition to her hands.

Is it painful?

Yes and no. Everyone’s pain threshold is different. But on the whole, it hurts!!

I had painful bruises on my leg after the first session.

How many sessions do you need?

That depends as well.  Some respond after one treatment and others need more.  Also it depends on the severity of the injury or if it is just prevention (as in before a big race) or maintenance throughout the year.

Sometimes, you can be in more pain than before the treatment.

I have 6 sessions scheduled (2 sessions per week) which is what is recommended for injuries.

Is it always successful?

I am sure not always but I have read many reports that ART has helped.

The verdict is still out for me.

When should you use it?

Any runner in training is a candidate for ART because it can fix things before the runner even knows there’s an issue. So it can prevent injury.

Of course, if a runner is injured, ART promotes faster recovery and restoration of normal tissue function.

Why am I trying it?

If you know me, you should be surprised.

I have never gone to a chiropractor. I have never even had a massage.  I don’t stretch or foam roll.

So with my first injury, I freaked especially since for the first time ever, I have FOUR half marathons and a 15k in FOUR months and I signed up for my FIRST MARATHON!!!!!!!

Normally, I would just either run through it or just rest for awhile.

With a half in a few weeks, I was worried about not running, losing my training and going into the race, untrained or continuing to train and making my injury worse.

So I’ve rested my leg for the most part, asked my fellow runners for advice and I took the one that made the most sense (to me).

A coach recommended a chiro who specializes in ART. She said what I wanted to hear.  “It will fix everything and you will be fine!!”

Photo Cred: Performance Place Sports Care – Active Release

Read more about it here:

I even received my FIRST taping (after my 3rd visit)- supposed to reduce swelling and speed up the healing…fingers crossed

As you know, the Tuesdays on the Run link up has been retired. There is now a new link-up organized by Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner). The new link up is called Tuesday Topics and starts today!!

Since today is Tuesday, I’m also linking up with these ladies.

I’m linking also up with Coaches Corner–Debbie, Susie, Lora, and Rachel!

and Wild Workout Wednesday with Nicole, Annmarie, Jen, and Michelle.

Happy Running! Anyone hear of ART or have used it successfully?

43 thoughts on “An A.R.T.ful Approach to a Running Injury

  1. I have heard of it but haven’t had it done on me — although maybe my painful massage after my race qualifies, LOL. I’ve had many massages and that was the most painful on my calves I’ve ever had.

    I hope that it works for you — I know many runners who swear by it.


  2. ART makes sense to me and I wish I could do it as a preventative, but the cost, ugh. So I’ve only had it when I was injured and in pain. It is really nice to have someone work on you instead of being handed a sheet of exercises and told to do them…or maybe I’m just lazy? LOL


    • Mine is done by a licensed chiro and it is covered by my insurance (at least that’s what they say?)

      I am not good with following exercises at home either.

      I only went because of my injury but if insurance does indeed cover it, I may start going monthly to prevent injuries. I’m not getting any younger.


  3. LOL museum art was absolutely what I thought of when you first mentioned this. And I freaked out for the same reason as you did. Some of the holistic approach seems similar to how my PT is treating my achilles, which I love. It’s not just about fixing the injury but rather the musculature issues that led to the injury
    We’re going to kick ass — maybe with one leg

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope ART works for you, Darlene. It really helped my hubby with an injury several years ago. I tried it several months ago, but it did nothing for me. I think the practitioners vary a great deal in expertise and mine was just not that good. On the other hand, I am now going to a massage therapist (who is about our age). She is fantastic! She has really helped me heal. I will be interested in your final opinion of ART.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it’s awesome that you are willing to try something new and that you are being open minded about it. I’ve only had two massages in my life, and I didn’t love them. When I’m hurt, I rest or try home remedies – I don’t know why I’m so nervous to get professional help. I have also never been to a chiro, and freak out at the thought of the cracking (even though I know a lot of adjustments aren’t like that anymore).

    Hang in there! I hope to see you recovered in no time!

    Liked by 1 person

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