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Dr. Zeitler performing ART at the Ironman

Certified Since 2001

ART is the most advanced and comprehensive soft tissue (muscle, nerve, tendon, ligament and fascia) technique available. It was developed by Dr. Michael Leahy who devised this unique technique to address soft tissue injuries which did not respond to typical treatment methods.  ART provides a way to diagnose and treat the underlying causes of a variety of conditions collectively called cumulative trauma disorders. These disorders are also known as repetitive stress injuries or "overuse" syndromes. These syndromes are given familiar names like rotator cuff syndrome, golfer's elbow, tennis elbow, tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Other conditions that fall directly into this category are post-operative scar tissue, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic low back pain, and hyper extension/flexion injury (whiplash).  Dr Leahy's technique has been so successful that it is now considered the gold standard of treatment by many professional athletes and it is the first soft tissue technique to receive a medical patent.

Experience Counts!

As one of only two fully credentialed (upper extremity, lower extremity, spine, long nerve entrapment & biomechanics) ART providers in Connecticut, Dr. Zeitler is one of the most experienced ART providers in Connecticut.  In addition, Dr. Zeitler has completed the ART Masters Program which is an advanced ART certification where the doctor works directly with Dr. Leahy to improve their technique.  Dr. Zeitler has practiced ART since 2001 and has worked at multiple Ironman Triathlons, at various local triathlons (Pat Griskus Sprint & Olympic, Pawling, Ridgefield and Lake Waramaug 1/2 Ironman) and with members of the U.S. Olympic Team performing ART Performance Care.  Dr. Zeitler has also worked as part of the medical team for the New York City Marathon.  This training and experience gives Dr. Zeitler special insight into sports related injuries experienced by runners, bikers, swimmers and various other athletes.  Dr. Zeitler is also a certified ART Exclusive Provider (EPN) which allows him to work for ART with corporations using ART to treat employees with the goal being to reduce medical costs and decrease lost work days due to injury.  For more information on this program please visit ART Corporate Solutions at www.artcorpsolutions.com.

ART has been studied at the University of California resulting in highly effective treatment of overuse injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow.  According to the orthopedic surgeon who performed the research, ART promoted healing of various injuries 60-70% better than standard forms of treatment.  Seeing as success rates with ART are so high and costs are so low, the Colorado Compensation Insurance Authority is funding a study comparing ART to more conventional or typical treatments for cumulative trauma injuries.

ART is a hands-on therapy wherein the doctor uses a unique combination of pressure, tension, and motion to reduce scar tissue adhesions, which cause pain. This separates, releases, and stretches the connective tissue adhesions, restores vascular and lymph circulation, and increases your range of motion, flexibility, and strength.  The average number of treatments typically ranges between 4-14 visits and takes approximately 15 minutes per visit.  The treatments can be a bit uncomfortable, but pain is an important indicator, noting that the problem has been located and signals that the treatments are correcting the injury. Patients often refer to it as "good pain."

Regardless of your activity level you can benefit from Active Release. From patients who are victims of car accidents to the proudest weekend warrior -- Active Release has proven to be a fast, effective, and non-invasive way to heal a wide variety of soft tissue injuries.

Understanding Soft Tissue Dysfunction

To understand soft tissue injury, you must understand the basic mechanism of cumulative injury. Cumulative trauma disorder is a major injury problem in the workforce and the general population in this country. Federal statistics show that it now surpasses back pain, and worsening by 670 percent in the last 5 years.  Unfortunately, past conventional therapies such as massage, heat, cold, electrical stimulation, rest, and exercise often fail to treat these conditions effectively.

Symptoms of cumulative trauma disorders are sensations of tingling, burning, aching and weaknesses. When a muscle, tendon, ligament, or nerve is damaged from trauma or overuse, the body will attempt to repair the damage with scar tissue. These scar tissue adhesions when left untreated perpetuate the cumulative injury cycle and result in progressive loss of function and increased pain. Loss of flexibility, strength, and range of motion are common after effects of soft tissue dysfunction. While many will attribute this to "just getting old," that is rarely the case.

Why Active Release is Different

Active Release is a highly successful approach to injuries of muscles, tendons, nerves, and the surrounding soft tissues. While procedures such as massage, physiotherapy and chiropractic care relieve muscle and motion dysfunction, they do not always address the underlying problems caused by scar tissue formation.  This is where Active Release differentiates from conventional treatments.

The three most common mechanisms of injury are:

  • Acute trauma
  • Constant pressure
  • Repetitive motion

All three are a part of the cumulative injury cycle. Soft tissue structures in the body change or adapt with time: these changes are predictable and can be felt by the doctor. Chronic or "older" injuries actually feel different from acute or recent ones.

Active Release has proven to be especially valuable for athletes, from the professional to the beginner. In most cases, athletes with acute or long-standing muscular strain/sprain injuries experience complete recovery in a short period of time.

Because of the soft tissue component, where other treatments fail, ART succeeds. The bottom line is that patients get well quickly, completely, and with much less expense.  For more information on ART go to www.activerelease.com.

ART Performance Care

ART Performance Care is the study of the human body in motion and addresses the sites which prevent optimum performance. Treatment goals focus on increasing range of motion, improving strength of muscle contraction and restoring normal biomechanics to improve overall performance. This type of care caters to the competitive athlete from the high school level to the professional level.