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 soft tissues, such as sprains, strains, subluxations, and repetitive use injuries. The instrument is used in a way to comb over and “catch” on fibrotic tissue, which immediately identifies areas of restriction. The Graston Technique reduces the need for anti-inflammatory medication, resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent and fosters a faster rehabilitation/recovery. This soft tissue mobilization technique treats a wide number of conditions, including quadricep pain, rotator cuff pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, and even headaches.
Graston is a proven technique among physicians and sports medicine practitioners in treating many musculoskeletal injuries and complaints including: carpal tunnel syndrome, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow), rotator cuff tendinosis, achilles tendinosis, scar tissue, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, medial epicondylosis (golfer’s elbow), patellofemoral disorders, IT band tendinosis, thoracic outlet syndrome, headaches, and TMJ pain.
How can the Graston Technique help me in Bloomington & Stillwater?
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, all of which can be relieved with the Graston Technique.
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 muscle fiber separation, which reduces pain and increases functional mobility.
What can I expect from a treatment using the Graston Technique?
The Graston Technique uses instruments to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation as well as help soft tissue injuries to the connective tissues, muscles, neurological tissues and skin.
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.
Benefits of the Graston Technique in Bloomington & Stillwater
- 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
Add the Graston Technique to your treatment plan today!
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. To learn more about how the Graston Technique can benefit you, contact us today to request an appointment with one of our dedicated physical therapists. We are committed to helping you heal and get back to your pain-free life!
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