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On the Run: Active Release Techniques® Treat Soft Tissue Injuries and Improve Performance

Runners and athletes of all types often suffer from injuries that respond to our approach.

Runners and athletes of all types often suffer from injuries that respond to our approach.

Imagine pulling a string as taunt as possible, until it can’t be stretched any further. Yet, if you clasp the middle of the string and pull, it will move…just a little bit more. Essentially, this depicts the concept behind Active Release Techniques® (ART), a state-of-the-art deep stretching system that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. “First and foremost, ART is a stretch,” explains Dr. Kris Kondrad, DC, Chiropractor and certified full-body ART practitioner at First State Health & Wellness-Brandywine. “Strategically applying pressure and massage with my fingers enables me to get deeper into a muscle, where I can stretch it 10-15% further than you can do on your own.”

Stuck on Repeat

ART is the ‘gold standard’ treatment for repetitive stress injuries, making athletes, especially runners, prime candidates, according to Dr. Kondrad. Overuse can produce dense scar tissue which constricts movement. Patients may experience a loss of strength, reduced range of motion and pain, while a trapped nerve may cause a sensation of tingling, numbness or weakness. Patients who experience chronic tightness, feeling like they can never get their hamstrings or calves loose enough, respond well to ART. “Many patients have tried alternative methods such as massage, but find that lingering pain eventually returns,” observes Dr. Kondrad. “ART, combined with chiropractic care, takes treatment to the next level–pain resolves faster and often holds permanently.” Dr. Kondrad encourages patients to listen to their bodies. “Repetitive stress injuries don’t only affect athletes,” he cautions. “Daily activities such as sitting at a desk, driving, using a phone and carrying packages or young children with backpacks, are also causing constant strains. ART can be very effective in relieving residual tension throughout the body.” Ryan Murzyn had never considered chiropractic care prior to meeting Dr. Kondrad at a health fair. “At first I hesitated to try something new,” recalls Murzyn, a certified personal trainer in Newark, Del. “But after suffering for weeks with neck and shoulder pain, I decided to give it a try.” In addition to working on his neck and shoulder, Dr. Kondrad has also used ART to relieve Murzyn’s thumb and foot pain. “ART is one of the most helpful techniques I’ve ever used for an injury,” Murzyn says. ART will often permanently resolve health complaints such as:

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Shin splints
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sciatica
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Knee problems
  • Tennis elbow
  • Achillies tendonitis
  • IT band syndrome
  • Peripheral neuropathys

Moving in the Right Direction

During an ART session, Dr. Kondrad utilizes his strong sense of intuitive touch to manually evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments. “Once I detect the problem, I personalize the treatment by selecting from over 500 specific protocols used to free restrictions and restore blood flow to the area,” he explains. “Most patients describe the sensation as an intense stretch that ultimately feels good.” A life-long athlete, Daniel Ramer of Middletown, Del., was introduced to chiropractic and ART in high school. “I’ve experienced numerous repetitive stress injuries from running and have always found relief from chiropractic and ART,” says Ramer. When pain resurfaced after moving to Delaware, locating a certified ART practitioner became a priority. “I was experiencing calf pain that would worsen until I couldn’t run anymore,” explains Ramer. Dr. Kondrad used a combination of ART and the Graston Technique-which uses stainless steel hand instruments to release soft tissue restrictions-to help Ramer recover. “After just three treatments, I was able to reintroduce biking. After five treatments, I was back to light running, and now I have no pain and no worries that my calf will seize up,” says Ramer. “Dr. Kondrad helped return me to a healthy, balanced state. I haven’t found anything to be as quick or helpful in maintaining active recovery.”

Kris Kondrad, DCDr. Kris Kondrad holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Science from the University of Delaware, Newark, Del., and his doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Fla.He is certified in full-body Active Release Technique, Acupuncture and Flexion Distraction Technique.First State Health & Wellness has been providing award-winning integrative healthcare and education for over 30 years.

Services among six offices across Delaware include Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage, Functional Nutrition, Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression and Rehabilitation. For more information make an appointment today or call 302.475.4200

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