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Treatments for Staying Injury-Free With Dr. Easley

From episode: The Science of Staying Injury-Free: Sports Medicine Insights with Dr. Easley

talk about my favorite, which is the ART. How would you describe that to a listener? Sure. So active release therapy, or ART for short, is a pin and stretch type of soft tissue work. So I would say the easiest way to describe it is imagine you were typing on a keyboard all day and all the muscles that are controlling your fingers up in your forearm are constantly engaging, disengaging, engaging, disengaging as your fingers are moving. And over years of doing that, those muscles might not glide past each other as well as they should. It's a repetitive overuse injury. So active release would treat pain that you're having in that area by trying to pin down one individual muscle while then stretching and lengthening all the other adjacent muscles to glide past it to try to create a shearing force between those tissues to try to loosen up the either muscle to muscle face or muscle to nerve or muscle to bone. So essentially it would look like massage plus stretching or a trigger point massage or therapy plus added motion. So it's a good way of loosening up very specific tissues next to each other. do Now, you couple that with the cupping? Because I feel like sometimes when I get the cupping, that's also happening. My arms getting moved through a motion or my leg. Yeah. So almost any time we're doing soft tissue work, we're trying to use motion with it. Active release, you are compressing the tissues down, holding one in place and then moving it. And then cupping, you are using a distractive suction force to try to pull tissues apart while moving them. So it's all accomplishing, trying to accomplish the same thing, but just with slightly different ways of coming at the problem. And so usually we'll use a variety of those techniques with each person because you can never say for sure which techniques someone's going to respond to the best. And so usually we'll try a variety of them and try to figure out what works. So when you do the cupping, that's pulling the skin up into the cup. I've actually seen what that looks like. And so as you move, that just releases all of the fibers and the muscles and whatever underneath of that? Yeah. So it creates space between your skin and some of the more superficial muscles and fascial layers. As well, it works well for reducing superficial nerve entrapments. And there aren't as many in runners as you would have in people who are more dominant with proper extremities, but it still can be pretty beneficial. And sometimes people will get a nerve entrapment in their lower back of their clunial nerves as they're going over their hip. And so you can pull those tissues apart and then really move them and stretch them around and try to get a bit more motion through there.

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