Dr. Arvidson ART
Active Release Technology
Active Release Tennis Elbow

Active Release Techniques®

Active Release Techniques® (ART®) is a specific way to diagnose and treat soft tissue injuries. Developed by a Chiropractor, Dr. Michael Leahy of Colorado Springs, CO, it has quickly become a treatment of choice for many professional athletes. ART® releases areas of scar tissue and adhesion, which as a result, can help with numerous conditions that result in pain, numbness, weakness or loss of mobility.

ART® is a patented, state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. Headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, and tennis elbow are just a few of the many conditions that can be resolved quickly and permanently with ART®. These conditions all have one important thing in common: they are often a result of overused muscles.

Every ART® session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART® provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.

These treatment protocols – over 500 specific moves – are unique to ART. They allow providers to identify and correct the specific problems that are affecting each individual patient. ART is not a cookie-cutter approach.

 Dr. Barry Arvidson has been certified since 2000 and is the Lakes Region’s longest practicing ART provider.


“Active Release Techniques has allowed me to treat things such as SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT, TENNIS ELBOW, and PLANTAR FASCIITIS with a high degree of success!”  

Dr. Barry Arvidson

FAQ’s on ART!

What are scar tissue adhesion’s?

When a muscle or tendon gets injured, either traumatically or gradually with overuse, scar tissue or adhesion will form between fibers. Scar tissue and adhesion act like glue to bind up the tissues, and inflammation develops, swelling up the tissues. This often causes a decrease in circulation to the area bringing on pain, numbness and weakness.

Is ART the same as massage?

Even though they may look and sound alike they are very different. Even though there are several good massage techniques, ART is problem specific. For each problem, a thorough history and exam is taken to identify the problem area. Once identified, the doctor can help break down the scar tissue and restore normal function to the area.

What kind of conditions can be helped with ART?

If it is a musculoskeletal type of problem, ART at the very least will probably help it if not fix it. The following is a list of some of the more common ailments that present to the office:

  • Rotator cuff problems
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis/Golfers elbow
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Neck/lower back pain
  • Headaches
  • Plantar fascitis
  • The list goes on and on

Can ART treatment prevent surgery?

For many conditions, quite often, the answer is yes. There are many conditions that respond extremely well, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and frozen shoulder, even in very advanced stages.

What is the treatment like?

ART is not a magic bullet or cure-all. Active Release Techniques is noninvasive, very safe, has virtually no side effects and comes with a record of very good results.  Treatments can be uncomfortable during the movement phases as the scar tissue or adhesions “Break up”. This is temporary and subsides almost immediately after the treatment.  It is common to feel a duplication of your symptoms during the treatment, a very good indication that the problem has been identified. Treatments are about 8-15 minutes per area treated and vary in number from 2-10 visits typically.  Chiropractic manipulation is frequently done in addition to ART to increase the effectiveness.

Will my problem return?

Usually, the changes are permanent, but ultimately it depends on patient compliance. By not changing or modifying what caused the problem – it will most likely return. This is very true for those with repetitive injuries. In some cases, where changing the cause is not possible, a extended monthly “maintenance” care is needed to keep the problem at bay.