The Graston Technique
Injury to the soft tissues in the back, such as muscles, ligaments, and tendons, are one of the leading causes of pain in and dysfunction of the back. Even a simple torn ligament or muscle strain can cause extreme pain and limited movement, leading to compromised function and athletic ability.
When a soft tissue injury occurs, the body repairs the tissue in a disorganized pattern, resulting in scar tissue. This scar tissue will not cause pain by itself, but it may lead to limited range of motion and stiffness, both of which can cause chronic back and neck pain.
In addition to pain, untreated scar tissue may cause increasing difficulty of movement, over time leading to reduced athletic function. One of the best ways to treat this type of injury is the Graston Technique.
The Graston Technique also known as Graston Therapy, is a proprietary soft tissue mobilization method designed to detect and resolve adhesions (scar tissue) in the soft tissues of the body.
Originally designed by athletes, Graston Technique chiropractic is performed using six stainless steel tools, each featuring a curvilinear edge and various concave and convex shapes. These tools are precisely moved over the patient’s body in order to detect and treat soft tissue injury. The Graston Technique can decrease overall treatment time, reduce the need of anti-inflammatory medications, speed recovery, and may even resolve chronic conditions.
The Graston Technique tools provide optimized treatment options in many ways. First, they provide benefits that are not unlike those of a stethoscope. While a stethoscope amplifies what the ear can hear, the Graston instruments improve what the hands can feel. Secondly, the stainless steel design of the tools won’t compress like the fat pads of the Graston Technique provider’s fingers, allowing for the treatment of deeper restrictions.
In addition to these two basic benefits, the Graston Technique is further able to treat adhesions and restrictions by providing a unique type of pressure, leading to optimized scar tissue removal.
Utilizing a cross-friction deep tissue massage, the practitioner moves the stainless-steel tools over the patient’s body, allowing them to “catch” on the affected tissue. Once the area of concern is determined, the tools are used to break down the scar tissue, allowing the body to absorb and dispose of it.
During a Graston Technique session, small amounts of trauma are caused to the adhesion or restriction. This trauma temporarily causes inflammation, which leads to increased blood flow, while the technique also encourages increased cellular activity. In this way, the Graston Technique process is able to initiate and encourage the healing of the soft tissues, leading to healthy function and reduced pain.
Graston Technique providers are extensively trained in the method, ensuring proper use and results. Training consists of two modules, totaling almost 24 hours of class time. During these training hours, practitioners are taught basic Graston guidelines, indications, contraindications, treatment strokes, and allowed to perform hands-on practice sessions. The more advanced module includes condition-specific training, as well as how to use the instruments to perform “nerve flossing” to further improve healing and function.
The Graston Technique is not used alone, whether the injury is sports-related, work-related, or otherwise inflicted. The Graston protocol involves warm-up exercises, treatment with the stainless-steel tools, stretching, strengthening, and ice.
If you are interested in consulting with Accelicare about your sports injury or other chiropractic concern, please visit our contact page to get in touch with Accelicare’s knowledgeable and helpful staff.