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How Active Release Technique Helps Back Pain


Some pain management professionals may argue that patients experience the most pain relief when they pair their interventional treatment with alternative therapies. This means that instead of just treating the patient’s specific pain-related symptoms, they’re managing their whole-body health and wellness. For example, chiropractic massages relax the muscles and ease mental stress. A chiropractor, like Dr. Steven Gutkin, may recommend a unique form of chiropractic massage called active release technique for patients with painful muscles and mental stress.

Active release technique is a chiropractor treatment that uses various hand pressure movements to manipulate soft tissues in the body. First, Dr. Gutkin will feel the muscles and tendons in the back for areas that are particularly tight. Then, he will get rid of adhesions caused by overactive muscles. Adhesions are when the fascia (connective tissues) in our bodies have scar tissue within them, which causes the muscles to stick together. People with adhesions may feel like a muscle is being pulled or pinched. In order to treat adhesions, Dr. Gutkin shortens and lengthens muscles and applies tension using his fingers.

Who can benefit from active release technique? Patients with:

  • Athletic injuries
  • Headaches
  • Sciatica
  • Herniated disc
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Muscle overuse
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain

So how does it work? Often, we feel pain or discomfort due to referred pain, or pain that originates from somewhere else and is felt in another part of the body. So, if a person suffers from knee pain, a chiropractor using the active release technique could work the calf and thigh muscles for a “release” of the knee. Similarly, for headache sufferers, patients could have their shoulder, neck, and back muscles worked in order to feel pain relief in their head. Even though patients may initially feel pain from the deepness of the technique, they could have less pain and increased mobility by the end of their session at Specialty Surgical Center.

Our pain management and chiropractic teams suggest using this technique alongside prescribed pain treatments. While it is okay to only use chiropractic care, you may experience better results by undergoing both active release technique and taking pain medication or going to physical therapy.

Specialty Surgical Center is located in Sparta, New Jersey, and our staff consists of board certified surgeons and anesthesiologists performing procedures in Orthopedics, Sports Medicine, Spinal Care, Podiatry, Urology, Pain Management, ENT, Hand Surgery, Lithotripsy, Brachytherapy, GYN and Laser Surgery.

For more information about Specialty Surgical Center, call 973-940-3166 or visit our Contact Page.