The Graston Technique® is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. There are six curved stainless steel instruments that allow practitioners to identify and treat a variety of soft tissue restrictions. This technique can help break down collagen cross-links, stretch connective tissue, and increase blood flow to the area to speed up healing. The use of the instruments provides broader surface contact that patients tend to prefer, and reduces the stress to clinicians hands. It also allows us to address deeper tissue and increase circulation more quickly than with our hands, especially on muscular athletes.
What type of injuries benefit from the technique?
Any soft tissue injury can benefit from this technique, whether it’s chronic or acute. I have been using it on several patients with cervical strains, lateral epicondylitis, hamstring strains, calf strains, and plantar fasciitis, with great results. Post-operative scar mobility can also be improved.
Why is scar tissue a problem?
Scar tissue or fascial restrictions can cause a loss in range of motion. When tissue can’t perform in it’s normal range it often causes pain. Decreased tissue mobility, whether or not it is associated with a great amount of pain, will limit a person’s normal functioning.
How are the instruments used?
There are both convex- and concave-shaped instruments that allow for assessing and treating different areas of the body. As you glide an instrument over the skin, it resonates in your hand as restrictions are detected, amplifying the change in tissue texture. Once the area is found, a variety of strokes can be applied to break up the adhesion.
Our patients are able to feel the restricted areas as the instruments are stroked over a region and can tell when they begin to loosen.
Is the procedure painful?
There may be some mild discomfort, especially when working on very tight areas, but generally our patients love it. Most patients refer to it as a “good hurt.” Some people will experience small bruising after the treatment because of the increased blood flow to the area.
Kathryn Barry, PT, DPT Certified Graston Technique Provider Lendermon Sports Medicine is the Mid-South’s only Graston provider. To schedule an appointment, call (901) 850-5756.