THE GRASTON TECHNIQUE®
The Graston Technique®, originally developed by athletes, is changing the way clinicians —including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors and athletic trainers — and patients view treatment of acute and chronic soft tissue injuries.
Graston Technique® is an innovative, patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians 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.
Graston Technique® is successful in effectively treating all soft tissue conditions, whether they are chronic or acute and post surgical.
What are the advantages to the Patient from the Graston Technique®?
The Graston Technique® offers many advantages to the patient such as:
Separates and breaks down collagen cross-links, and splays and stretches connective tissue and muscle fibres
Increases skin temperature
Facilitates reflex changes in the chronic muscle holding pattern
Alters spinal reflux activity (facilitated segment)
Increases the rate and amount of blood flow to and from the area
Increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts and mast cells
Increases histamine response secondary to mast cell activity
Why is scar tissue a problem?
Scar tissue limits range of motion, and in many instances causes pain, which prevents the patient from functioning as he or she did before the injury.
How is scar tissue different from other tissue?
When viewed under a microscope, normal tissue can take a couple of different fashions: dense, regular elongated fibers running in the same direction, such as tendons and ligaments; or dense, irregular and loose with fibers running in multiple directions. In either instance, when tissue is damaged it will heal in a haphazard pattern--or scarring--that results in a restricted range of motion and, very often, pain.
How are the instruments used?
The Graston Technique® instruments are used to enhance the clinician's ability to detect adhesions, scar tissue or restrictions in the affected areas. Skilled clinicians use the stainless steel instruments to comb over and "catch" on fibrotic tissue, which immediately identifies the areas of restriction. Once the tissue has been identified, the instruments are used to break up the scar tissue so it can be absorbed by the body.
Is the treatment painful?
It is common to experience minor discomfort during the procedure and some bruising afterwards. This is a normal response and part of the healing process.
What is the frequency of treatment?
Patients usually receive two treatments per week over 4-5 weeks. Most patients have a positive response by the 3rd to 4th treatment.
Will treatments affect my everyday activities?
Most patients are able to continue to perform their regular functions at home or work.
Is Graston Technique® something new?
A. The concept of cross fiber massage is not new. Graston Technique® is grounded in the works of Dr. James Cyriax, an English orthopedic surgeon. The use of our specially designed instruments and protocol is new.
Graston Technique® has become standard protocol in universities and hospital-based outpatient facilities as well as industrial on-site treatment settings such as Indiana University and the University of Michigan. The technique is also being used at industrial settings and by NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball trainers.