Active Release Techniques® (ART®) – A way to treat and prevent Golf Injuries

If you have ever suffered from pain and injury following a few rounds of golf, you will know how painful and debilitating this can be.  Paul Espe, Founder of Physioplus in Albir, has put together this handy guide to managing pain and injuries from playing golf and how Active Release Techniques® (ART®) can help.

Typical Injuries from Playing Golf



Even though golf is considered a low-impact, non-strenuous activity, many golfers get injuries. Golf-related injuries are surprisingly common and most of them include strain on muscles and other tissues which in turn interferes with the gullets ability to play their best or to play at all. Cumulative trauma disorder (CTD) happens as a result of performing the same motions repeatedly, and during a practice session a golfer repeats the same motion over and over again.


In order for a golfer to play as well as possible and to avoid injuries, the body needs to be fine-tuned. The golf swing is all about proper body mechanics and full rotational capacity at nearly every joint involved is required. If there is muscle weakness, soft tissue shortening or stiff joints, the body will start to compensate a put extra strain on certain structures.


Soft tissue (muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments, joint capsules and fascia) can form scar tissue from trauma or micro tears from repetitive strains. The scar tissue is less elastic and more fibrotic than normal tissue and reduces that structures ability to stretch. Another important factor is that adhesions (scar tissue) can form between structures and reduce the ability of these to slide freely next to each other. Scar tissue and muscle tightness can also cause weakness, compression to nerves, reduced blood flow, insufficient coordination and poor joint mobility.

How can Active Release Techniques® (ART®) help?



Fortunately, there is a treatment technique known as Active Release Techniques® (ART) which has shown to be very successful in treating golf-related injuries. ART® is enabling many individuals to get back in the game quicker, with less pain, restored flexibility and mobility. Pro-golfers like Shane Lowry, Padraig Harrington, Jordan Speith, Zac Johnson and Rickie Fowler are treated with ART® (by ART – providers and chiropractors Shane Lawler and Troy van Biezen).


ART® was developed by chiropractor Dr. Mike Leahy from Colorado Springs, Canada. He has spent the last 30 years upgrading and fine-tuning these techniques. ART® has been popular in the USA and Canada for many years and is now steadily becoming available in Europe. There is only one fully certified ART-provider in Spain (who is also an instructor in Europe), and he can be found in Albir, Costa Blanca.


Swing Compensation

As a large amount of flexibility, coordination and power is required for a proper swing, even minor problems can be be greatly magnified and ultimately cause injuries. When a golfer has limited range of motion in one area, the body will compensate with excessive motion in another area. For example, restricted motion in the hip will force the trunk or shoulders to move more than usual and put strain on structures in these areas. Excessive spinal rotation can lead to back injury as many people lack spinal flexibility.


Stretching is Often not Enough



Even though a golfer (or any other athlete) is doing regular stretching exercises, it may be difficult to release the adhesions in and in-between different soft tissue structures. When for example several muscles adhere to each other, the sliding ability between them is affected and mobility is lost. Stretching plays an important role in the treatment and prevention of injuries but will not break down adhesions. Adhesions are much stronger than normal healthy tissue. Muscles can often adhere/bind to one another preventing normal sliding necessary for full mobility. When an individual performs a stretch. the tissue that lengthtens is not the adhered tissue but the healthy tissue.


ART In order to improve soft tissue flexibility and remove joint restrictions, The ART-provider will firstly do a series of tests, and every session is actually a combination of examination and treatment. The ART provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles. fascia, tendons, nerves. joints capsules and ligaments. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.


This treatment also has a neurophysiological effect. and along with making sure the spine is aligned and the spinal joints and nervous system work to its optimum level, you are on your way to have a body that will function better. The last piece of the puzzle is getting good advice on how to re-educate your muscles and to create the best possible muscle balance.


Book an Appointment at Physioplus Today


If you are in in need of some physiotherapy following an injury or if you have a chronic pain condition, call Physioplus today to book an appointment today. For more information, please visit their website and find them on social media.




Camino de la Cantera, 12, local 2, Albir


Phones: +34 966 577 789 and +34 722 250 893



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