A New Tool in the HARTZ PT Toolbox
Active Release Techniques® (or ART®) is a patented manual therapy technique that corrects soft tissue restrictions which lead to pain and decreased mobility. Combined with traditional rehabilitation activities, ART® is producing extraordinary functional outcomes with our patients.
Hayden McDevitt, DPT, OCS, CSCS, ART®
"ART® has helped me be more thorough in the diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue pathologies and nerve entrapments. Patients often experience significant relief in less than half the time they would in traditional therapy."
Who Can Benefit from ART®?
Patients with repetitive use injuries typically respond well to ART®. Such injuries include frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, & sprains/strains, just to name a few. Usually a patient will see significant results within just a few visits.
"I'm an avid runner who suffered an
IT band strain that was holding me
back for almost two months. I tried
chiropractic treatment, but it didn't
help much. After just one ART®
session with Hayden, I'm completely
pain-free and am back to running
at least 5 miles, 3 days a week."
When You Think Of Overuse Injuries...
What comes to mind when you envision someone with an overuse injury? Chances are you're conjuring up an image of a young baseball pitcher who's been hurling way too many fast pitches across home plate. Or maybe it's a runner training for an upcoming marathon that comes to mind. You know the type. The one who's gritting his or her teeth, thinking "I'll just run through it ... gotta make my time ... I'll deal with this pain later ... thank goodness for ice and ibuprofen."
While sports activities are common culprits, an overuse injury can literally be caused by anything the body does repet
itively -- sitting, standing, typing, lifting, gaming, etc. If form and function aren't executed correctly, the body's ability to adapt to repetitive movement can be compromised, leading to chronic pain and inflammation. Click here
for additional information.
An Unexpected Injury?
by HARTZ PT employee Lynne Zanowski
A recent personal experience inspired the topic of this newsletter. Well, technically it wasn't my experience. It was that of my 18 year old son, Ben. (Of course, any parent reading this knows, what affects our kids affects us -- no matter how old or young they are).
Ben is a musician.
He loves playing guitar.
And, if I must say so myself, he's darn good at it. But his fine guitar playing doesn't happen on its own. It takes practice. Hours and hours and hours on end of sitting with his spine in a completely unnatural position, one arm slung over the instrument and one reaching under, fingers picking wildly at the strings, while his wrists are constantly twisting and turning.
Yep, you guessed it. Ben ended up with an overuse injury.
As his senior year of high school started coming to a close, his music commitments picked up at an exponential rate: orchestra pit, group concerts, solo and ensemble nights, talent shows, etc. This meant not just performances, but practice, practice and more practice. As time passed, acute and chronic pain developed in Ben's hands, causing him severe discomfort and weakness -- not to mention the same frustration a star soccer player might feel who faces being sidelined during the championship game because of an ACL injury. After all, guitar playing isn't just a hobby to Ben. It's his passion. He was crushed by this injury, which was getting in the way of doing what he loves most.
That's the bad news. The good news is mom works for HARTZ PT. One of our therapists would fix him up just fine, no problem. Sounds great, right?
"Nah", said one of his favorite music mentors. "That stretching stuff
will only make things worse. Just give it some rest or go see this guy in Philly..."
Another mentor, Ben's guitar teacher, admits to tossing the towel in on his own hand pain. This career guitarist tried PT, chiropractic therapy and cortisone injections. None did the trick. He figures this is just the price he has to pay after 38 years of playing.
I was pretty bothered by this feedback. A mentor to any teen in any field can have a lot more influence than mom. And, in this case, certainly more expertise when it comes to "all things music".
So I did some quick research. It wasn't too hard to pull up a bunch of documentation on musician overuse injuries. Think about it -- what a violinist subjects his or her shoulders to; or the potentially damaging repetitive motion of a drummer's wrists. The rate of overuse injuries in this group must be astounding!
Luckily, one of the first resources that popped up happened to be from the Berklee College of Music. Ben is a huge Berklee fan, having been trained for years by a Berklee graduate. So I was interested to see what they recommended. Anything Berklee-approved was sure to be Ben-approved.
Here's what I found out: Berklee College of Music in Boston recommends Active Release Techniques® (ART®) as the treatment method of choice for overuse injuries in musicians.
(Click here to view publication)
At HARTZ PT, we have an ART® certified therapist on staff, so this was music to my ears! When I passed this information on to Ben, he willingly went to see Hayden for an evaluation, hopeful his discomfort would soon come to an end. There was no need to spend time (or a co-pay, for that matter) on a visit to his family doctor. In most cases a physician referral is not needed in order to see a physical therapist. So Ben was able to see Hayden almost immediately.
With just a few sessions of ART® treatments, along with a prescribed home exercise program to help him along, Ben started feeling remarkably better -- fast! He was able to play comfortably and exceptionally well at each of the performances which marked the end of his high school career.
Ben continues to feel and perform well and is eagerly pursuing bigger and better musical adventures, which he now knows he can enjoy pain-free, thanks to ART®!
ART®: A Treatment of Choice
Remember: if you do something -- anything -- often and repetitively, you are subject to an overuse injury.
If you suspect you have an overuse injury, call us or send us an email to request more information or to schedule an evaluation. We accept most insurances. In the majority of cases, a physical therapist can be seen without a physician referral.
In recent years, ART® has become a treatment of choice for high performance athletes . Workers' compensation managers are also turning more frequently to ART® providers to get their employees back to work faster. And -- hopefully, after reading this newsletter, more musicians who are in pain will seek out ART® treatment. After all, Berklee says so...