Breaking Down The Graston Technique®
Summer is officially here and outdoor activities are calling. However for anyone who is suffering from an injury, the longer daylight hours means you’re missing out on even more fun. If resting and icing hasn’t helped you heal as quickly and effectively as you would like, you may want to consider the Graston Technique to help you find relief and get you back out there.
The Graston Technique® is an evidence-based form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) that enables clinicians to effectively assess and treat restrictions of scar tissue, muscle, and fascia that contribute to dysfunctional movement of the kinetic chain. The technique involves the use of hand held stainless steel instruments applied to the body’s soft tissue in various sophisticated strokes to release or unlock areas of pain and poor function. No treatment is complete without being coupled with an appropriately designed therapeutic exercise program to restore the normal functional movement of the treated tissue.
Set Your Fascia Free
Luke, I am your fascia…. Star Wars puns aside, fascia is a very important part of the human body that I think doesn’t get a lot of credit and definitely not a lot of attention. Shameful! This beautiful tissue, also referred to as connective tissue, exists all over the body! Think of it like an internal webbing that provides dynamic internal structure by supporting and connecting all your moving parts. It is 3-D in nature and thus is not always addressed adequately by your weekly or monthly massages when lying on the table passively. Within the fascia live important cells called fibroblasts that are precursors of collagen production, super important for injury healing or recovery from regular daily abuse that results in normal break down. When there is any restriction of this fascial tissue, from injury or daily wear and tear, the fibroblasts can be left unable to do their jobs, especially if they can’t get their nutrition and hydration as a result of what can be considered a tissue traffic jam (thoughts of Oregon 217 South at 5pm, shudder!).
Living within the superficial fascia are the majority of your sensory nerve endings that transmit messages of pain. Treating this fascia and increasing regular functionality of this tissue can help mitigate pain. Bye bye pesky pain!
What Does Graston Technique® Feel Like?
Well, have you ever had a massage that in some places it feels good and others it is uncomfortable as it is happening but afterward there is this sense of “hey! I’m able to move better! And that original pain is gone!” It is much like that. Sometimes there is reddening of the skin that lingers for a day or two; this is the result of scar tissue or adhesion break down and allows for new healthy blood vessels to regenerate and allow increased healing potential.
You might be thinking that if Graston Technique® is like massage, then what is the difference? During a typical treatment, a patient should expect to be positioned in various postures, particularly the posture that is dysfunctional. The tissue is 3-dimensional and thus is treated in this manner including through movement. If adequately applied, this technique should allow the patient to see a difference in his or her movement and capability straight away!
So one or more of these six stainless steel Graston instruments can be used to restore adequate mobility of this tissue network under the skin and result in faster recovery time, reduced overall treatment time, result in less need for anti-inflammatory medication, and resolve chronic conditions not adequately addressed by other treatments. As an adjunct to a physical therapy regimen, Graston Technique® should be considered! Schedule your appointment at Therapydia Portland and try out Graston with our certified provider.