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Active Release Technique for Podiatrists

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Mark Egan, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Mark Egan

    Mark Egan Active Member

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    Dear All,

    I have come across a group of chiropractors in Brisbane who use "Active Release Techniques" - ART, on their patients (www.vivere.com.au) I was wondering if anyone else has used this form of treatment for their patients and if so what has been the feedback from them and their results.

    I would also like to find further information about the technique from an independent source as all the information I have been able to find is from the developers of the technique - it orginally comes from the states and was developed by P Michael Leahy.

  2. Matt Dilnot

    Matt Dilnot Member


    No medline search brings up anything.

    The method is not taught through a university course that I can see.

    It smells of marketing to me.

    I noticed there is one credible reference on the ART website by a well published author Vert Mooney. He published a prelim paper on it in a non-medline journal in 1999 but has since made no reference to it in any of his numerous papers he has published that are referenced in Medline.

    The chiros are kings of this sort of stuff.

  3. Mark Egan

    Mark Egan Active Member


    Thanks for your thoughts Matt

    After I went and saw them they (Vivere) provided me with some complimentary consultation cards which I have handed onto a few of my chronic pain patients i.e. one peroneal entrapment and one medial shin splints patient all of which have had extensive physio, massage, orthotic therapy as well as cortisone Rx and x-rays and MRI without resolution of their issues. I explained to each of them that this (ART) was something that I was not familiar with and that I would appreciate their feedback on the Rx. At this stage the patient with peroneal issues has had her Rx and reported that she was happy with the results although she did indicate that they wanted her to return for more Rxs of course. I will interested to see how she goes. I view that ART may be something to use with certain patients. But I agree with you and I am a little wary of what they claim.

  4. bearfootpod

    bearfootpod Member


    Hi Mark

    I too received the glossy promotional material from this company and have tried to do some research. Most of the seminars on this process are run through chiropractic schools overseas.

    I have spoken to a couple of physio mates who think it sounds like soft tissue release.

    I have not sent any patients there or been for explanation yet, but their approach of advertising the conditions first and the technique as a distant second is interesting.


  5. Dr P

    Dr P Welcome New Poster

    Hi everyone ART is almost like MRT(Myofascia Release technique (grade 4)
    But more involved/advanced the seminars are very expensive but if you know MRT well then no need for it.
  6. musmed

    musmed Active Member

    Dear Mark

    Their process is flawed by their definition
    Scar tissue and inflammation.
    Scar tissue: how are you going to find it by palpation etc? _ Impossible
    second, Inflammation- 98% of all musculoskeletal conditions are non inflammatory. Thus they have not much to treat, do they?

    The technique is basically stretching and Muscle energy technique by another name.

    I cannot understand why anyone would use a technique that hurt.
    Paul Conneely.
  7. Dr P

    Dr P Welcome New Poster

    Hi Paul

    ART is neither a Muscle Energy Technique or a regular stretching technique. yes it hurts while it's done but it feels great afterwards just like with Myofascial release technique which is used a lot by Massage Therapists/physios/chiros/etc. Patient Satisfaction speaks a lot for the effectiveness of the modality used. The question is what do you do when you palpate a muscle and you find some people have Trigger points or knots. Most likely there would be some fibrotic tissue. It doesn't matter if you call it inflammation or scar tissue. Could MRT/ART be of help to the patient. The answer is yes and all we have to do is try it and observe the patients pre and post treatment results objectively(ROM etc) and subjectively via patients feedback. We have to be a little bit open to new things. For me it doesn't matter what their definition of ART is. It's just one tool in the tool box not a cure for everything.

    dr p
  8. musmed

    musmed Active Member

    Dear Dr P

    You cannot have it all your own way.

    Where does all the scar tissues come from, where are all the knots, where are all the trigger points....

    You don't care what the definition of ART is...

    If you do not have a definition of what you do, nor can you define what you are looking for to "treat", the only thing I can surmise regarding this is not much.

  9. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

    I was looking for something else, but stumbled on this discussion on ART for plantar fasciitis on the heelspurs.com site:


    it gets pretty silly in places, but does provide more information for those wanting it.
  10. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  11. DaFlip

    DaFlip Active Member

    at UWS

    Ask the podiatry staff at University Western Sydney. From what i have been told one or more of their staff have done the course and now teach it as part of their program.
    People i have spoken to suggest the format is video presentation for demonstration of the releases and then there is a supplimentary manual which is readily available to copy. Maybe they can send you a copy.
    DaFlip :mad:
  12. musmed

    musmed Active Member

    Dear DaFlip

    I would be more than interested to review any information that you may have.

    Paul Conneely
  13. DaFlip

    DaFlip Active Member


    please call me 'Poddy' i quite like it. With over 10500 successful patient treatments using manipulation why you would be interested in this?

    Last time we corresponded you insulted my name, so it seems a bit strange now for you to be asking me for a favour don't you think! However i am not one to hold a grudge. But the problem is I can't send you any info because i don't have it yet and secondly if i did i wouldn't be stupid enough to send it to you because it is patented and copyrighted to the max and no one should risk this for you or anybody(except for the person giving to me). I presume the people at UWS who have been teaching this got clearance from Active Release Techniques to use it or i guess right about now they and the university might be getting a little nervous if you know what i mean!

    Have a great day everyone,
    DaFlip :mad:
  14. Paul Bowles

    Paul Bowles Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    I work at UWS as a Lecturer and have completed one component of the Active Release Techniques course (the lower limb section) in Canada a few years back. It was an interesting course and overall I am glad I attended, however as someone has pointed out during this thread on several occasions, Active Release Technique is merely a patented form of soft tissue work for overuse injuries. Call it what you will - myofascial release, deep connective tissue massage, neural stretching technique - by any other name it is merely a method of soft tissue manipulation.

    I do not however teach any units at UWS relating to soft tissue techniques, but I can guarantee you that at UWS we do not teach the Active Release Techniques course.

    We do however have part of a unit which specifically deals with soft tissue techniques (again I am not involved in this) as part of the 4th year curriculum. This unit introduces students to the idea that there are numerous soft tissue related techniques available to learn throughout the world, and introduces them to the concepts behind different manual therapies in the treatment of Podiatric conditions. Several "techniques" are raised as part of the discussions/learning throughout this unit, and examples of these techniques are discussed/shown to students via photo's, video, textbook, articles, demonstration etc...

    From my understanding the unit is designed to introduce students to the whole concept of manual therapies and the broad range of learning options open to them once they graduate to facilitate their undergraduate education.

    More information may be obtained here:


    and to my knowledge there are several Podiatrists and Chiropractors in NSW who have completed certain sections if not all the ART program. In fact if I am not mistaken one of them is actually a fully certified ART instructor.

    I am happy to answer any questions on the topic, but unfortunately Dr Conneely my manuals/video's were lost soon after my return from Canada whilst shifting work premisis - hence I dont have anything I can show you on the actual technique. I am sure it wouldn't be terribly hard to order a copy from ART themselves though.

    Kind Regards,

    Paul Bowles
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2006
  15. joseph Paterson

    joseph Paterson Active Member

    I know nothing of ART but I have found the Bowen Technique very successful in podiatry for heel pain etc.

  16. TL74

    TL74 Active Member

    I don't know about ART.
    I use a lot of MFR, Positional Release techniques, Trigger point therapies and massage with great success in the clinic.
    Important to note that I went and studied an Advanced diploma in Myotherapy to perform these techniques. Small sections in the podiatry studies is not enough to competently treat patient with soft tissue therapies.

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