By Chris Dellasega, MS, CSCS
Posted: September 16, 2012 - 8:41 AM
As football players become bigger and faster and the intensity of competition increases, the soft tissue of the body, such as muscles, ligaments and tendons, become prone to overuse injuries and trauma as the season wears on. However, you can minimize the damage caused to the body with soft tissue treatment and continue playing at your best.
The trauma and overuse injuries caused to the soft tissue of the body that is associated with the high-impact nature of football can lead to the development of adhesions and scar tissue within the soft tissue of the body (such as muscles, ligaments and tendons). The accumulation of adhesions or scar tissue can inhibit a muscle, for example, from moving freely, impinge on nerves and even restrict blood flow to an area. This limited range of motion in the soft tissue creates weakness and over time this weakness will lead to injury.
Active Release Technique™ (ART) can restore proper function to muscles, ligaments or tendons by manually applying precise tension and pressure to an area where adhesions or scar tissue has accumulated. When applied, this manual tension and pressure frees the soft tissue of adhesions and scar tissue and allows the tissue to move freely. Reestablishing the ranges of motion to the affected tissues then restores the proper texture, tension and movement of the tissues involved.
World-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin tells the story of an athlete and friend who could not lift a 45-pound barbell without excruciating pain in the shoulders. Subsequently, an orthopedic surgeon told this athlete that surgery was the only option to alleviate the pain in the shoulders.
Poliquin then recommended this athlete see Dr. Mike Leahy, the inventor of Active Release Technique™ (ART), before reporting for surgery the following week. After 45 minutes of soft tissue work this athlete agreed to try and bench press, albeit hesitantly. This athlete then discovered that he was able to bench press 315 pounds with absolutely no shoulder pain, again with only 45 minutes of Active Release Technique™ with Dr. Leahy.
Dr. Leahy is an honor graduate of the United States Air Force where he studied aeronautical engineering. He also served as a fighter pilot and later a test pilot in the Air Force. In 1984 he graduated summa-cum laude and valedictorian of the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic and then became a Chiropractic Sports Physician in 1986.
While at the Air Force Academy, Leahy recognized similarities between how rockets are guided and the biomechanics of running and in 1985 Dr. Leahy began developing Active Release Technique™. He has said that without his engineering background he could not have developed Active Release Technique™ (ART).
Active Release Technique™ has been independently verified to be so effective at treating soft tissue injuries that Dr. Leahy now teaches the technique to physicians of many different disciplines and currently has his own certification process.
In the video below Dr. Tom Eberline, a student of Dr.Leahy’s, explains and demonstrates Active Release Technique™ (ART).