Our Active Release Techniques (A.R.T.) in the Bay City area is one of the leading soft tissue therapies to treat musculoskeletal pain. 

There are over 500 specific techniques unique to A.R.T., and each protocol consists of applying specific compression and precise stretch to an affected soft tissue area.  With A.R.T., to say your care is individualized to your needs is an understatement.

Active Release Technique is based on the idea that the body’s soft tissues—

  • muscles
  • tendons
  • ligaments
  • fascia
  • nerves

—may develop adhesions, or sticky areas, over time.  Sometimes, adhesions appear and disappear on their own.  However, when adhesions develop and stay, it can affect the function of these soft tissue structures and become fibrotic bands within the soft tissue itself.

The functioning of soft tissues is important because they surround, connect, and support other structures in the body, such as our joints and spine. 

Adhesions feel like superglue to an affected muscle or ligament, altering the ability contract or lengthen.  The result is reduced joint movement, altered range of motion, muscle soreness and pain, compensation patterns in other soft tissue structures, and more. 

How do soft tissue adhesions form?

Soft tissue adhesions form in different ways.  Some examples include repetitive or cumulative stress, surgery recovery, acute trauma or injuries, improper movement such as poor sports technique, overuse, lack of proper muscle and soft tissue recovery, and even poor posture. 

Adhesions are a natural part of the body’s response to healing an injury. 

However, if adhesions do not resolve, they may cause stiffness and pain in the affected area. 

Who can benefit from Active Release Technique?

Anyone can benefit from our approach to soft tissue therapy at Lake Effect Chiropractic.  We utilize A.R.T. to improve aches, pains, muscles, and joint dysfunction! 

The effect is multifunctional:

  • It improves blood flow to soft tissues to promote healing
  • loosens adhered soft tissues
  • improves range of motion
  • enhances function of muscles and joints
  • and more.

A common misconception is that Active Release Techniques are for the very fit, physically active, or exceptional athlete.  This is not true.  A.R.T. is not solely reserved for athletes, gym goers, or exercise enthusiasts.  Anyone can develop adhesions in their soft tissue structures! Scar tissue serves the body the same way patch repairs do on small cracks in the road.

Adhesions create drag and tension in the affected tissues, making even routine activities of daily living more difficult and require more energy to do.  The result?  

Dysfunction results in problems such as muscle pain and stiffness, back pain, neck pain, headaches, tennis elbow, bicep tendinitis, carpal tunnel, nerve entrapments, tired muscles, and other problems.  A.R.T. is a great approach to both manage and treat these conditions, and our chiropractors can help you find relief from your pain no matter your activity level. 

Active Release Technique can help athletes, office workers, laborers, older adults, gym enthusiasts, weekend warriors, dedicated sports professionals, and above all: you.


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What other conditions can Active Release Technique help with?

  Muscle and other soft tissue adhesions result in discomfort, reduced performance, and pain, ultimately affecting a person’s day-to-day life and physical activity.  As a result, many conditions benefit from a skilled practitioner using A.R.T.  Some examples include:

A.R.T. is a comprehensive approach to many musculoskeletal problems, and with our skilled team, we use A.R.T. every day to help people reduce and/or eliminate dysfunction and pain.  Even if you’re not hurting, Active Release Technique can bolster sports and gym performance by enhancing muscle and other soft tissue performance.

All About Active Release Technique

Not Just for Athletes, But For Everyone! See Below

Can Active Release Techniques Help Me?

In many instances, yes. 

Active Release Technique is not a massage technique: it is a comprehensive combination of soft tissue stretch, targeted compression, and elongation tailored to your specific condition.  A.R.T. involves understanding how muscles work together and respond to various stresses. Each patient receives a treatment that is exclusively their own.

We first dedicate one-on-one time to examine your complaint, take a comprehensive patient history, and isolate the problem with a priority examination.  This allows us to determine if Active Release Technique is the right approach for you and your care.  To target specific areas, we must understand where the issue in the tissue lies.  Understanding where a patient’s pain and discomfort is coming from allows our Lake Effect office to focus on the exact cause of your problem.

Only providers who are trained in A.R.T. in the Bay City area can effectively perform your therapy.  When done properly, A.R.T. can significantly improve daily movement patterns, enhance muscle, and improve joint function.  


Many people who receive Active Release Technique report feeling:

  • more energy
  • increased flexibility
  • better range of motion
  • reduced pain levels
  • fewer headaches
  • less back pain and neck pain,
  • and more "in control of" other musculoskeletal problems they may have.


There are certain times when A.R.T. should not be used.  Some examples include open wounds, fragile skin, allergic reactions, active cancer sites, and others.  A.R.T. is best used by a knowledgeable practitioner who can determine if this therapy is the correct approach to add onto your treatment or performance plan.

We highly recommend patients speak to our team or visit our office to determine if A.R.T. is right for them.

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What Our Patients Are Saying

"This place is amazing. I recently tore my calf muscle and didn't know the severity or where to go for it. My girlfriend goes to Lake Effect and asked Dr Ashley for advice about my injury. She offered to take a look and refer me to someone if necessary. I booked an appointment and was able to get in earlier than scheduled. Dr Ashley examined my leg and gave me a lazer treatment. I immediately felt better. She came in early to accommodate follow up appointments and even reached out to other sports medicine professionals to make sure this was the right course of treatment. I was able to run a 5k just three weeks after my injury. I am now going weekly for lazer treatments and rehab recommendations. I couldn't be happier with my progress. Everyone in the office is so nice and welcoming and they even have the best behaved office dog."

-Corey from the Tobico Marsh Trails in Bangor Township, MI


"I injured my back 1.5 weeks before a snowmobiling trip. It hurt to extend my back straight when I stood up. I thought I would need to cancel my trip but I gave Lake Effect a call. Dr. Ashley was able to get me in for 3 appointments before my trip and get my muscles loosened and greatly improve my flexibility. I was able to make the 7 hour drive and snowmobile 300 miles during the trip without issues. Give Lake Effect a call, they can work wonders!"

-Michael from Freeland, MI


"I strained a muscle in my lower back and Lake Effect was able to get me in for an appointment right away. Dr. Brittany helped me to recover quickly. She provided me with a plan to not only recover from the injury but, prevent it from occuring again. The Drs at Lake Effect are attentive to their patient's unique situations and go above and beyond to provide the resources they need to reach their goals. Dr. Brittany has provided me with the exercises and stretches needed to ease the effects of postpartum posture. I am glad I went to Lake Effect!"

-Brittany from Bay City, MI

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