What is Graston Technique and How Does it Work?
Graston Technique a form of manual therapy known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization. It is one of several manual therapy approaches that uses instruments with a specialized form of massage/scraping the skin gently. The doctors at Align are trained in the proper administration of this method and will use it when deemed necessary. Graston Technique is a wonderful tool for breaking up old scar tissue from athletic injuries or relaxing muscles that are chronically tight. Please feel free to ask us any questions you might have in regards to Graston.
In time, we can have a build-up of this fibrous scar tissue, particularly in the muscles, tendons and ligaments that get a lot of use. This can lead to pain and dysfunction because this replacement tissue lacks the strength and flexibility of healthy tissue (in some areas it may even mat down and entrap a nerve).
The Graston Technique allows us to better detect and treat these areas because it uses a stainless steel instrument that glides along a patient’s muscle, tendons or ligaments, with the right amount of pressure to detect just where the scar tissue or restrictions are located. When these knots or bands of scar tissue are encountered, both the clinician and the patient sense a restriction, almost like a speed bump or a granular feeling. The instrument can then be used to “break up” this restriction or adhesion. Stretching exercises are used to promote re-alignment of the fibers into the normal pattern of healthy tissue.
Benefits of Graston Technique
The benefit of the Graston Technique is not only in detection of restrictions or adhesions, but also in the amount of improvement that takes place in a short amount of time. Remember the song and words “…the knee bone is connected to the thigh bone…”? Well, so they are, and so are all of the body parts connected in what is referred to as the kinetic chain. Clinicians use a GT instrument to follow that kinetic chain, effectively uncovering the cause of the problem, then treating the cause and the area of pain or restriction. The unaided hand is hard pressed to detect and break up as much scar tissue, or follow the kinetic chain, as effectively or efficiently as stainless steel instruments can.
Patients at Align usually receive two treatments per week for four to five weeks. Most patients have a positive response within two to three treatments. In addition, many are not disabled and continue to perform their regular functions at home or work.
GT decreases overall time of treatment, fosters faster rehabilitation/recovery, reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication and resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent.