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FHC Physical Therapist Only One in Region to Offer ART Treatment

| Date Posted: 12/12/2013

Rodney Tolentino, P.T.

Rodney Tolentino, P.T.

PINEHURST – Seven weeks of pregnancy-related bed rest left Pinehurst resident Carrie Kirby weak and ill-prepared for a much-anticipated return to her previously active lifestyle.

After she tried to resume some of the activities she had enjoyed before – running, biking, weight-lifting and the like, she began noticing severe pain in her knees and lower back, sometimes when she was doing nothing more than standing.

A search for relief eventually led Kirby to Moore Rehab, a service of FirstHealth Rehabilitation, and physical therapist Rodney Tolentino, who identified overuse-related problems that are fairly typical among professional and so-called “weekend warrior” athletes.

After a few weeks of physical therapy with Tolentino, Kirby was much better. Because of his advice and guidance, she has also improved her approach to activity, which lessens the chance of re-injury.

“Now I'm probably in better shape than I had been,” she says.

Tolentino's approach to Kirby's physical therapy included ART (Active Release Technique). A patented soft-tissue system/movement-based therapy, ART is used to treat problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia (connective tissue) and nerves. Headaches, back pain, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica and knee problems are some of the many conditions that respond to ART treatment.

More than 500 specific moves are unique to the ART treatment for which Tolentino was originally certified in 2009. Now ART-certified for spine and lower extremities, he is currently the only physical therapist in this region who provides the treatment that has proven to be a popular therapy for injuries in athletes and for work-related injuries. Heather MacMillan, DPT, supervisor of Moore Rehab, is scheduled to become ART-certified in January 2014.

Conditions that respond to ART treatment can occur when pulls and tears, lack of oxygen and overused muscles cause the body to produce tough, dense scar tissue (adhesions) that binds up tissue that needs to move freely. As the scar tissue builds up, muscles become shorter and weaker, tension on tendons causes tendonitis and nerves become trapped causing reduced range of motion, loss of strength and pain – sometimes even tingling and numbness.

“We break down the adhesions for the muscles to work properly,” says Tolentino.

Himself an experienced Ironman participant, Tolentino first heard about ART treatment at an Ironman event.

“Every NFL team and all Ironman Triathlon events have an ART provider,” he says.

FirstHealth Rehabilitation-Pinehurst Moore Rehab is located at 170 Memorial Drive in Pinehurst. For more information, call (910) 715-1825 or visit

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