Knee with red highlight on knee showing pain

Active Release Techniques, also known as A.R.T, have become one of the most sought-after advanced soft tissue treatments in the world. Why? Because when applied by an A.R.T certified provider it is known to be extremely effective— up to a 90% success rate. A.R.T is a highly skilled and advanced form of soft tissue treatment for many conditions and can typically show results in just a few treatments.

Some of the conditions treated with A.R.T are:

To name a few…

Before diving in too deep into why A.R.T is different, it’s important you understand the kinetic chain. The kinetic chain is the series of soft tissue groups that work relative to one another to perform a movement. A typical kinetic chain for a simple action like bending your arm goes as follows:

  1. Multiple layers of soft tissue recruit to perform the movement
  2. Muscles and tendons act as the levers that move the two structures 
  3. The Ligaments hold the structures together while the nerves that slither through these tissues move relative to everything else. 
  4. When there is pain or injury, these structures do not function properly. A.R.T helps to restore the relative motion between all these structures.


A.R.T is truly unlike any other treatment. Every session is a combination of assessment, palpation and treatment and uses the therapist’s sense of touch to find restrictions and adhesions in the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves). And because these things all work relative to one another, A.R.T works the entire kinetic chain to achieve full resolution rather than one component of the chain. It can quickly and effectively locate the root (or multiple roots) of pain and then treat and remove the adhesions and soft tissue restrictions from the specific area(s). When treating something like sciatica or lower back pain, for example, A.R.T not only involves the lower back but the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and feet as well.


Every muscle has a nerve innervation and a specific movement. As an A.R.T practitioner, the goal is to contract the muscle manually and actively move it through its natural range of motion.  Where there are adhesions between the surrounding structures, this movement helps restore the relative motion between them and allows for proper functional movement. Surprisingly, chronic pain that has lingered for years can be resolved quickly and efficiently with this approach— even when other traditional methods of therapy have been unsuccessful. 

At Guelph Rehab Centre, we are one of the few clinics in the area that offers full body A.R.T and nerve entrapment specialties. A.R.T is one of our most effective tools and we use it in our specialty programs to treat headaches, back pain and nerve entrapments.

For more information on Active Release Techniques, visit our A.R.T services page here.