Battle Overuse Injuries with Active Release Technique (ART)




ARTis an extremely effective technique developed by Michael Leahy where a provider uses his or her hands to detect adhesions in soft tissue (muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves). Once located, the provider breaks up the scar tissue while the patient "actively" performs various movements.


As adhesions or scar tissue builds up, blood supply is decreased and the soft tissue becomes shorter and weaker, limiting the motion and function of the muscles and joints involved. Pain occurs and nerves can become entrapped (causing numbness/tingling). ART gets to the root of the problem which offers quick results and lasting pain relief.




ART is widely used by athletes, including Kobe Bryant, to avoid or treat injuries due to overuse. It is a well known "secret" for players in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS, etc.

ART providers also serve as critical members of the medical staff that take care of athletes participating in IRONMAN events.

In addition, the technique provides relief for people from all walks of life who are experiencing acute or chronic pain.


There are over 500 treatment protocols, but some of the most common ailments successfully treated  with ART include:

  • IT Band Syndrome

  • Shin splints

  • Shoulder pain

  • Sciatica

  • Plantar fasciitis

  • Knee problems

  • Scars after surgery

  • Back pain

  • Tennis elbow and many more


One of our own patients suffered with foot pain for over two years before seeking out an ART provider as a last resort. After less than 10 sessions, she experienced incredible relief and even got to wear heels for the first time in years. Now she's happily traveling with her husband and spreading the word about ART to both doctors and patients. You can read more about her incredible story here.

Have you had success with ART? We'd love to hear your story.

The Secret to Relieving Foot Pain (POM 05/13)

Patient of the Month - May 2013

When Michele came to us she was suffering from debilitating foot pain. She had been to many other doctors, but none of the treatment was able to provide relief.

Then she heard about Active Release Technique (ART) and located Dr. Mayeswho was a locally certified provider.  After receiving ART as well as the instrument-assisted Graston Technique, Michele was overjoyed with the results.

She even offered to travel to conferences with Dr. Mayes to speak to podiatrists and orthopedists about the effectiveness of these techniques in relieving foot pain.

Michele has not only been committed and compliant during  her own recovery, but she has taken the time to inspire and give hope to other people who are suffering from chronic pain.

In her own words....

Why PT? Scar tissue was preventing my big toe from bending resulting in excrutiating pain when I walked.

How have you benefitted from your PT experience?After about 10 sessions, I was able to walk with much less pain. It is now a soreness and aching feeling rather than inflammation and horrendous pain in my foot. Additionally, I don't have to think about limiting my walking, and I am able to lead a more normal life.

What would you recommend to someone who has the same injury as you? The Active Release Technique and Graston Technique, performed by Dr. Mayes, is the only way to go.  Don't wait any longer - seek help.

What activities are you most excited about getting back to? I am most excited about taking a Zumba class, being able to wear a sneaker/shoe for more than a few minutes without discomfort, and now looking forward to traveling with my husband without having to worry about how much walking we do.

A Battle with Foot Pain...

Patient of the Month - March 2013

Name:  Jerily C. (we affectionately refer to her as JC)



JC is the most COMPLIANT patient in the history of IronPT. She came in with fierce foot pain that had been wearing her down for months, but made up her mind that she was ready to fight back. She would do every single thing that was recommended and even did extra "homework" to be sure she was getting the most out of therapy.

She is still working hard towards full recovery, but it has been a privilege to be part of her journey. She's not only determined, but also artistic, and we're looking forward to having her put her touch on our clinic walls.

Wish we could clone her!


In her own words....

Three words that describe me: curious, energetic and scrappy

What brought you to PT?

I had chronic heel PAIN that required surgery and needed post-surgical PT.

My Podiatrist recommended finding a Physical Therapist who practiced the Graston Technique– with the warning that it would be painful.  I’d never heard of it, so I googled it.  Reading about it sounded just as painful as I’d been told, but I thought I’d give it a try.

How have you benefitted from your PT experience (physically or mentally)? PT with Dr. Mayes had given me hope that one day soon I’ll be pain free.

What would you recommend to someone who has the same injury as you? Patience! Results come even though progress seems slow.

What activities are you most excited about getting back to? I want to run.  I understand I’ll need to walk first, and build up slowly.  Looking forward to my continued progress.

Common Running Injury: Plantar Fasciitis, Part 2

So you think you have plantar fasciitis, now what? First see your family physical therapist as he or she will help identify the likely cause of the pain and provide care in the form of joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, corrective exercise, therapeutic taping (if needed) and modalities.

Here are a few things to implement until you see your therapist.

  • Stretching - Gastrocnemius stretching (pictured on right); Soleus stretching (on left); Plantar fascia stretching - From a seated position, cross your affected foot on top of the opposite knee and pull your toes back with your fingers





  • Wear shoes - No barefoot walking, especially in the morning. Put your feet into supportive shoes before your feet even hit the ground

  • Icing (roll your foot over a bottle of frozen water)

  • Use anti-inflammatories as needed or as directed by your MD

  • Wear a Plantar Fasciitis night splint - this will keep the tissue in an elongated position while you sleep, minimizing re-injury upon walking the next morning (when your arch flattens upon standing the plantar fascia is stressed)

Treat your feet right. Ice them. Keep them moisturized. Pay attention to any building discomfort and address it immediately!

IRON PT WOD - 8/17/20120 - REST.

IRON PT WOD - 8/16/2012 - Essex Running Club Run - 7pm

  • 6.13 mi; 8'20"pace; 50'33", 741 calories

  • Minutes/mile: 8'38", 8'49", 8'24", 7'39", 7'47", 8'13" (Thanks for pushing the pace Wayne!)

Common Running Injury: Plantar Fasciitis, Part I

I'm seeing an increasing number of patients with heel and foot pain...the dreaded plantar fasciitis. So, what is plantar fasciitis? The plantar fascia is the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot that originates from your inner heel and extends through your arch to the base of your toes.

Due to a wide range of variables (Overpronation, calf tightness, change in footwear, sudden increase in running/walking mileage, weight gain, foot structure, and many others), there can be increased pull at the point where this plantar fascia originates from the heel. This inflammation and microtears of the plantar fascia can be very painful! The most common signs are pinpoint tenderness on your inner heel and PAIN during your first few steps in the morning. This can put a serious damper on your training or even sideline you for a period of time.

So, what do do about it?.....more to come.

IRON PT WOD @ 2:00 PM (08/14/2012) - Strengthening, no running

  • Bench press: 7,805 total pounds during workout

  • Leg raises lying on my side: 3 x15

  • Clean & press: 3 sets of 115 lbs x 6

  • Bicep Curls

  • Pull-ups: 2 x 10

  • Rotator cuff - external rotation

IRON PT WOD @ 9:44 AM (08/15/2012)

  • 6.0 mi; 53'15"; 8’49″ average pace; 715calories

  • Minutes/mile: 9'13", 8'13", 8'00", 8'07", 8'33", 5'45"

  • Stretching and foam rolling