The Graston technique is a form of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). It is a type of manual therapy that incorporates special ergonomic tools that are used to gently massage and scrape parts of the skin. These stainless steel instruments are used to heal injuries to the soft tissues, such as sprains, strains, subluxations, and repetitive use injuries.Are you suffering from a soft tissue injury? Do you have a sports injury or injury from a car accident? Do you have scars or adhesions that are causing pain and limiting your movement? If so, the Graston Technique can help you.The Graston Technique can also be used to treat numerous other conditions, including lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, quadricep pain, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and headaches.
What should I know about the Graston Technique?
Before adding the Graston Technique to your treatment plan, here are some helpful facts to keep in mind:
• More than 31,000 clinicians worldwide use it.
• It is applied at more than 3,600 outpatient facilities.
• It is used by 16 NBA teams, 18 NFL teams, 16 MLB teams.
• It is used by more than 500 professional and amateur sports organizations.
• It is part of the curriculum at more than 50 colleges and universities.
How can the Graston Technique help me?
Scar tissue is a type of fibrous connective tissue that receives less blood than normal tissue and stretches much less. It tends to be thick and may build up around the ligaments, tendons, and muscles after an injury. The buildup of soft tissue is referred to as adhesions. Injuries that may result in adhesions include shin splints, pulled hamstrings, meniscal tears and much more. When you are injured, adhesions and scar tissue may occur either in the tissues or in the skin.
It is believed that scar tissue and adhesions prevent the underneath body structures from moving properly. This is because ligaments, tendons, and muscles are unable to move freely. It’s problematic because scar tissue and adhesions may bend to fascia and cause a condition known as fascial restriction. Adhesions and scar tissue can also occur on a smaller scale as a result of a cross-linking of muscle fibers.
Over time, even the wear and tear of everyday life can cause muscle fibers to adhere to each other irregularly. With the Graston technique, the treatment causes a muscle fiber separation, which reduces pain and increases functional mobility.
What can I expect from a treatment using the Graston Technique?
At the beginning of a Graston Technique treatment, the areas of the soft tissue fibrosis will be moved to make the scar tissue more receptive. The edge of the stainless steel tool will be used to slowly glide across the affected soft tissue until it comes in contact with an adhesion. Our physical therapist will then rub over the adhesion to elicit movement. This friction will help promote the healing process of your soft tissue injury.
The amount of pressure used with the instrument, and the speed in which it is done will vary depending on the nature of your condition, and it will be adjusted throughout the treatment. After each treatment, the affected area will be stretched and our physical therapist will provide you with ice packs if you experience any soreness.
Most patients who receive the Graston technique will undergo two treatments a week, over a five-week time frame. You should expect to notice relief by the third or fourth treatment.
Some of the many benefits of the Graston Technique include:
• Reduction in pain, for a better quality of life
• Reduction in inflammation
• Increased mobility and ability to perform daily tasks
• Increased rate of volume and blood flow to affected areas to enhance healing
• Boost in cellular activity for good health
• Breakdown of collagen cross-links