Kinetic Sports Rehab Blog

Active Release Technique (ART) Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

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Active Release Technique (ART) Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis

Whether you’re an athlete recovering from shin splints or a mother suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you know that overused and injured muscles are a huge pain, especially here in Seattle where we like to walk and run more than most cities. Not only can injured muscles get in the way of even the simplest tasks, but they seem to take forever to heal properly.

If you’re in need of an effective, safe treatment for your injured muscles, then you should know about Active Release Technique (ART), also called Active Release Therapy. Active release therapy is a newly patented massage therapy that is getting rave reviews from  our patients and athletes receiving therapy at the Kinetic Sports Rehab Seattle location. The advanced techniques have been shown to work on several muscular conditions, from tennis elbow to stiff necks.  The therapy has also proven very effective in treating Plantar Fasciitis, one of the most common and uncomfortable Orthopedic conditions around. Active release therapy may be just the tool you need to get rid of all your pain medications and bandages  and get you back on your feet again.

What Are Active Release Techniques (ART)?

Active Release Therapy works to treat, and oftentimes cure, common conditions related to overworked or overused muscles.  Developed and patented by P. Michael Leahy, the therapy is used to treat problems occurring in your muscles, fascia, tendons, nerves, and ligaments. The therapy is completed without any invasive procedures, incisions, or chemicals of any kind. It is based on the simple observation and massage techniques.

When You Should Consider Using Active Release Technique (ART):

If you’re experiencing unusual tightness, tenderness, or pain in your muscles, tendons, or ligaments, you might have some form of overused muscles and soft tissue.  Overused muscles and soft tissue injury can come in the form of:

  • Acute conditions (collisions, pulls, or tears). These are smaller injuries that usually heal themselves over time, but can be very painful.
  • Accumulation of small tears. These injuries are slightly more serious and can lead to more serious damage if they’re not treated as soon as possible.
  • Not getting enough oxygen to the muscle, also called hypoxia.

Active Release Therapy is used to treat these conditions at Kinetic Sports Rehab:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Tennis elbow
  • Frozen shoulders
  • Whiplash
  • Shin Splints

…And many more.

Active Release Techniques have also been shown to treat and cure Plantar Fasciitis, an injury occurring in the foot due to overworking it. This is especially good news due to the fact that Plantar Fasciitis is not only extremely painful, but it is also very difficult to cure.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic problems related to the foot. It’s nothing too serious, but it can cause a fair amount of pain. Like other muscle conditions, is caused by overstretching or overusing the tissue in your foot. This tissue, called the plantar fascia, is some of the most used soft tissue in the body, so it’s easy for it to become inflamed if not treated properly.  The tissue connects your heel bone to your toes, creating the arch in your foot. It can be a very painful condition and can have you on the sidelines for weeks if you don’t take care of it.

You might be at risk for Plantar Fasciitis if:

  • You have flat feet or high arches
  • You are obese or have experienced a sudden weight gain
  • You are a long distance runner, or tend to run on uneven surfaces (especially downhill).
  • You have frequent tightness in your Achilles tendon
  • You wear shoes with poor arch support or soles that are too soft.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis most commonly manifest themselves in the form of stiffness and pain at the bottom of your heel. You may experience burning, sharp, or dull pain. This pain can occur suddenly after athletic activity or build gradually over time. If you examine your foot and find redness or swelling on or near the bottom of your foot, this might also be a sign of Plantar Fasciitis.

If you experience any of these symptoms, then you should consider beginning Active Release Therapy right away.  Active Release Therapy has worked to treat and cure many cases of Plantar Fasciitis. It’s safe, easy, and will have you feeling like your old, active self in no time.

How Will Active Release Therapy Treat my Plantar Fasciits?

During an Active Release Therapy session, one of our trained therapist will usually do some preliminary tests with their hands, checking your muscles’ tightness and mobility, particularly around your soft tissue. This allows them to gauge how intense your therapy will need to be. Then, using massage-like techniques, your therapist will use hand pressure to help release the tension in your muscles.  They will apply direct pressure to very specific muscle groups, combining it with unique muscle movements on your part. Specifically, your therapist will stretch out the muscles, increasing blood flow and breaking up any fibrous adhesions, or bands that form between tissues during injuries.  By massaging the area, your therapist will be able to release blood vessels trapped beneath any adhesions in your tissue. This will allow your muscles to get the blood flow they need and slowly regain strength over time.

Later in your treatment, you will be able to actively participate in the process of healing your injured muscles. While the beginning stages of treatment involve mostly observation and massage techniques, later stages will require you to do controlled movements with your muscles, contracting and relaxing your muscles as your therapist requires.  Doing this allows you to strengthen your own muscles and get back to your active self.

You Shouldn’t Use Active Release Therapy if:

  • Your muscle pain is the result of blunt trauma, meaning that your injuries are not because of overuse, but because of an external injury (ex. jamming your finger).
  • Your muscles are actively inflamed, meaning that the muscle injury is fresh and still very tender. Beginning therapy while your muscles are still inflamed can lead to major discomfort.

Also, you should not go through Active Release Therapy more often than once every other day. Doing so could overwork your muscles and not allow them to heal themselves properly.

So, if you’re in need of a treatment for your muscular conditions, consider Active Release Therapy at Kinetic Sports Rehab physical therapy clinic in Seattle, WA.  After a few sessions, you’ll be back to your old, active self!

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About Kinetic Sports Rehab Chiropractor, KineticSR (58 Posts)

Kinetic Sports Rehab in Seattle offers an alternative to traditional sports physical therapy through functional rehabilitation treatment. Focusing on soft tissue manipulation via active release technique, graston technique, and chiropractic, Kinetic delivers cutting edge physical therapy alternatives for sports injuries, whiplash and car accident injury, and work related injuries.

Kinetic Sports Rehab
701 North 36th Street SeattleWA98103-8868 USA 
 • (206) 547-0707


  1. Henderson Carpal Tunnel Injury  December 28, 2011

    Came across your site and blog recently and I’m so glad I found it. The waste array of treatment that the this accident rehabilitation center offers is amazing. I will definitely recommend to my friends and acquaintances, looking for full recovery after an accident.

  2. how to grow strawberries  January 9, 2012

    Love your blog!


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