Active Release Technique San Diego – A Complete Therapy for Your Pain

You can find magnificent places and beautiful beaches here in San Diego, California. But what if a persistent pain in your back, neck or muscles doesn’t allow you to enjoy them fully?

Headaches, back pain, sciatica, knee problems, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis are among the most common conditions that might affect your everyday activities. Thanks to a well-developed system-based technique, known as Active Release Technique (ART), you can say goodbye to all the discomfort you might be feeling and embrace a much happier, pain-free life.

Makari Wellness is a clinic that provides the best Active Release Technique San Diego has to offer. Mike Woodworth, its founder, uses the most effective combinations of ART and other therapies to treat tissues that cannot be reached by hand, delivering excellent outcomes and long-term improvements to his patients.

We at Makari Wellness can treat the following conditions using the most advanced Active Release Techniques:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Shin Splints
  • Iliotibial Band (IT Band) dysfunction
  • Piriformis Syndrome.

Makari Wellness – Best Active Release Technique Providers San Diego Can Offer

Mike Woodworth from Makari Wellness is a certified ART technique provider whose goal is to help people alleviate pain in joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. He uses the most advanced combination of dry needling and ART modalities to address the pain caused by injury, muscle overuse, or improper posture.

Call us at (888) 871-8889 or fill out the form to book your initial appointment at one of the best Active Release Technique providers San Diego has to offer.


In the video below, you can hear more useful information about ART and its performance:

What is Active Release Technique?

Active Release Technique (ART) is used to treat the body’s soft tissue using precise tension and depth. It has been practiced for more than 30 years to treat injured muscles, ligaments, fascia, tendons, and nerves.

Active Release Technique partner

The efficiency of Active Release therapy lies in its ability to break up scar tissue to restore the injured area’s function. There are over a hundred protocols for treating every muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia, and nerve in the body, which is why athletes and sports medicine specialists highly recommend this method.

How Does Active Release Technique Work?

Release therapies are incredibly efficient, mostly because they treat the whole structure of a functional chain. That said, a certified ART practitioner focuses on muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, or fascia, addressing them all the same time.

Still, what makes the ART technique different from conventional therapies involves breaking up adhesions. An adhesion is a band of scar tissue that develops from a small tear in the tendon, muscle, or ligament as the body tries to heal itself. It is often the result of previous surgery, pelvic infection, or a more severe underlying condition. It often causes dysfunction and a limited range of motion. An adhesion can develop three ways:

  • Acute trauma – pulls, tears, or collisions.
  • Micro-trauma or overuse – repetitive motion injury
  • Consistent pressure or tension for prolonged periods of time – poor posture, for example.

These problems may produce dense scar tissue in the area, preventing your healthy tissues from moving freely. As scar tissue develops, your muscles may become weaker and shorter, nerves may become trapped, while the tension placed on the tendons might lead to tendon inflammation, also known as tendonitis.

All these issues may cause a reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain. These signs are usually followed by numbness, weakness, and tingling in the affected area.

Breaking up Adhesions with Active Release Technique

Pain in muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, or fascia is often caused by soft tissue conditions that don’t show up in X-rays or MRI. An injured or tight soft tissue forms scar tissue, which may stick to nearby structures, inhibiting the range of movement and causing compression over nerves or blood vessels.

The soft tissue management system used by Active Release Technique is based on a unique approach proven to be highly efficient in treating muscular pain. A licensed ART provider palpates and treats more than 300 muscular injuries and 100 nerve entrapments that often result in numbness and tingling.

Active Release Technique providers offer specific corrective and stretch exercises and to correct movement patterns, resolve postural imbalances, and help to develop strength and flexibility. This treatment will lead to a faster recovery while keeping the problem from recurring.

Who Needs Active Release Therapy?

Active Release Technique is suitable for those who experience severe muscular pain that prevents them from performing daily activities. Pay attention to the following signs that might indicate an accumulation of scar tissue, resulting in pain and muscular dysfunction:

  • The sense of stiffness in your neck, hands, knees, back, or elbow
  • Pain during exercise
  • Stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot, near the heel
  • Numbness, pain, and tingling in your fingers
  • Decreased flexibility and reduced range of motion
  • Decreased strength
  • Joint inflammation
  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling.

Using specific tension and depth, a practitioner presses the injured area, which allows them to feel the structure as it moves under their hands, and treats the restricted muscles, tendons, or ligaments.

Since ART consists of over 500 different moves, a practitioner can create a custom-tailored treatment according to the patient’s unique needs. Individuals who may benefit from Active Release Techniques are:

  • Both recreational and professional athletes
  • Patients with chronic pain with signs similar to muscle overuse
  • Anyone who hasn’t solved their problem with conventional therapies.

Active Release Technique and Complementary Treatments

Your practitioner may use other treatments and massage therapies alongside ART to provide better outcomes and improve the muscle functionality much more efficiently. Depending on your condition, you may receive some of the following therapies:

  • Dry needling involves the insertion of thin needles through your skin to stimulate trigger points (knots). It is used to release the tight muscle, improve pain, and ease stiffness.
  • Electroacupuncture may boost the effects of manual acupuncture since it amplifies the treatment, promotes the neurotransmitter’s release, encourages blood circulation and pain reduction. It helps heal the tissue, decreasing inflammation.
  • The Graston technique is similar to ART because it targets adhesions and improves blood flow. Unlike ART, the Graston technique uses handheld instruments to encourage tissue mobilization.
  • Gua Sha is similar to the Graston technique, but it focuses more on removing toxins and excessive heat from your body. It involves rubbing or scraping your skin with a massage tool.
  • The myofascial release addresses a broad network of muscles that might be provoking pain. Its goal is to reduce tension in your body.

What to Expect During an Active Release Technique Session?

A typical ART session consists of both examination and treatment. The ART provider uses the hands to assess the texture, tightness, and movement of tendons, muscles, fascia, ligaments, and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining an exact tension with specific patient movements.

Not all patients will receive the same ART treatment since their overall condition determines the treatment course. In some instances, a practitioner will combine ART with electroacupuncture, dry needling, and moxibustion to deliver much better and more long-lasting improvements than those brought by using a single therapy.

In the video below, you can see how a typical active release session looks like when used in combination with electroacupuncture:

Active Release Technique uses very specific and precise pressure, and patients with a low tolerance for pain may find it very uncomfortable. Note that ART must be performed by a practitioner with Active Release Technique certification.

What to Do After an Active Release Technique Session?

Once your adhesions have been released, your practitioner may recommend some post-treatment exercises vital during the rehabilitation process. The following exercises are very effective for reactivating your muscles and ensuring the symptoms do not return:

  • Exercises for flexibility are essential for enabling muscles and joints to move using their full range of motion. Stretching exercises may increase your flexibility, lowering the risk of muscle, tendon, or joint injury.
  • Strengthening exercises are excellent after treatment, but it is not recommended to perform them when your muscles are shortened and contracted. That way, more adhesions may appear, resulting in further contractions and restrictions.
  • Proprioception exercises help the body react well to external forces, using balance and touch. They are efficient for improving the agility, strength, endurance, and kinesthetic awareness of the patient. These exercises should begin right after you’ve started the rehabilitation process.
  • Aerobic exercises are essential for restoring circulation and increasing oxygen delivery to soft tissues.

It’s not recommended to perform any exercise before consulting your practitioner.

Active Release Technique: Conclusion

We can conclude that the innovative and unique ART approach is suitable for active people of any level and patients who feel pain due to adhesions. Regular ART sessions may identify and release restrictions causing reduced performance and mobility, keeping the symptoms from recurring.

If you’re feeling any signs of adhesions, pain, and reduced range of motion, don’t hesitate to call us at (888) 871-8889 to book your initial appointment at Makari Wellness.