Graston Soft Tissue Technique

Graston Soft Tissue Technique

Many times the most elusive piece of the healing puzzle is a clinically concise description of the pain

What Is The Graston Soft Tissue Technique?

Graston technique is a non-invasive treatment for soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries whether chronic, acute or post surgical can often be frustrating and take a long time to heal, even with appropriate treatment. These types of injuries are often caused by participation in sports and exercise activities, but they can also occur from simple day-to-day repetitive use. Examples of such injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Bursitis
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Contusions
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Lumbar Strain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • And more…

Graston Technique® (GT), the leading modality in Instrument-Assisted soft tissue mobilization, was introduced in 1994. This technique is an innovative, evidence-based form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to detect and effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions, as well as help patients maintain optimal range of motion. GT is clinically proven to achieve faster and better outcomes for acute and chronic conditions.

The non-invasive technique uses specially designed stainless steel instruments to help the clinician identify and treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation. GT allows a clinician to get as deep into the tissue as necessary to invoke change, yet be sensitive to patient pain and tolerance. As the instruments are moved over the affected area and come in contact with the adhesions, they help break up scar tissue and fascial restrictions. In time, this process will reduce or eliminate the adhered fibers, restoring range of motion and eliminating the associated pain. It will help transform your soft tissue injury into healthy functioning tissue.

Benefits of the Graston Technique®:

  • Decreases overall time of treatment
  • Fosters faster rehabilitation/recovery
  • Reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication
  • Resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent

Patients usually receive two treatments per week during a four-to-five week period. Most patients have a positive response by the third to fourth treatment.

It’s no secret that pro athletes get the best therapies available, but many people just assume that these therapies are not an option for them—and they couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Understanding The Origin, Location, Frequency, & Duration Of The Pain.

Many times the most elusive piece of the healing puzzle is a clinically concise description of the pain. This does not come easily for most people. Keeping an Oasis Physical Therapy Journal can get you “in touch” with your pain and help you communicate more effectively with your health care professionals.

Pain Comes From 3 Main Origins:

1. Injury

Tissues, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and discs, that are damaged or disrupted by sprains, strains, tears, or herniations, and are in need of repair. The role of your physical therapist  is to prevent further injury and promote healing. Physical therapists determine when and how it is appropriate to get you moving again. 

2. Pathology (Disease Process)

This can be a serious disease that requires further medical investigation or treatment. Physical therapists are specially trained to spot “red flags” – signs of pathology that require medical referral. More common pathologies are chronic, degenerative conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, or other disorders such as diabetes and obesity, that require a safe and effective exercise approach. Physical therapists combine specialized knowledge of these conditions with advanced understanding and application of exercise principles to help you manage or reverse such problems.

3. Persistent Pain

Pain that occurs in the absence of injury or pathology or that persists beyond the period of time expected for healing. All pain originates in the nervous system because it is the only tissue in your body that is sensitive. Persistent pain results primarily from increased sensitivity of this system. Two further categories can be determined based on the nature of your sensitivity: 

Mechanical Pain
Sensitivity to movement, position, or activity – pain frequently results from a vicious cycle of guarding, protection, and difficulty moving. As you move, nerves need to be able to glide, slide, and lengthen – tolerating varying degrees of both tension and compression. Tightness leads to decreased tolerance for various physical challenges, including sustained positions, repetitive movements, and forceful movements. Physical therapy breaks that cycle and restores normal movement. Safely increasing strength will also help to improve your functional tolerance.

Chemical Pain
Nerves are sensitive to inflammatory chemicals so pain can result when there is increased inflammation. The best way to treat this type of pain is by chemical means; ie. drugs or diet, that alter your body’s biochemistry. Physical therapy can help by improving mobility to lubricate your joints and exercising muscles with low impact to provide more support and unloading of your joints.

Patients who gather information are in a much better position to find the therapy that’s right for them. Most therapies can, and should, be used in some combination.

20 Most Common Diagnoses That Respond Well To Graston

Learn about the most common ailments that are best treated by Graston.

Learn how Graston can help you

Review Your Options:

Patients who gather information are in a much better position to find the therapy that’s right for them. Most therapies can, and should, be used in some combination.

There are 9 general kinds of treatment available:

  1. Manual Physical Therapy (Including Graston Therapy)
    Most people are surprised to learn that all the research shows that exercise and physical therapy play a key role in treating and preventing recurring pain. Manual physical therapy is a relatively new and comprehensive therapy approach that includes assessment, treatment, and prevention. Proper treatment promotes strength, flexibility, and endurance—the three keys to sustained well-being. Exercise and/or manual and movement therapy can, and should, be a part of every patient’s treatment.
  2. Behavioral Programs
    Stress intensifies and promotes pain. What do you do to manage stress in your life? Many people use exercise, and others find that meditation, yoga, or just talking to a trained counselor helps manage the stress.
  3. Chiropractic Care
    Chiropractors emphasize spinal manipulation, or adjustments, to restore normal alignment. Manipulation is sometimes useful for acute episodes of low back pain and may provide quick, though often short-term, pain relief and increased mobility.
  4. Oral Medications
    Oral medications come in two forms, anti-inflammatory or opioids. Both have potential side effects. Anti-inflammatory drugs include pain relievers such as over-the-counter drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen, but also include stronger medications available by prescription. Stronger medications called opioids, such as morphine and codeine, are also options for severe pain.
  5. Nerve Blocks & Steroids
    Nerve blocks are administered to provide temporary relief. Sometimes multiple treatments are required to provide worthwhile relief.
  6. Surgery
    Surgery is an option for correcting the underlying problem. For example, a herniated disk in the back, or a bunion on the foot. Recovery from surgery should include exercise and physical therapy. Although this may seem obvious, many surgeons will prescribe oral medication for post-surgical pain relief, but often overlook prescribing a specific course of physical therapy. When other therapies fail, a procedure called neuroablation can be considered as a last resort. Neuroablation involves cutting the nerve to the painful area so that pain messages are interrupted.
  7. Neurostimulation
    Neurostimulation involves placing a small electronic device under the skin. The device sends mild impulses to the area where pain is felt. The device reduces the need for pain medication, and can be removed when no longer needed.
  8. Intrathecal Drug Delivery
    This involves placing a small pump under the skin. The pump doses medication directly into the space in the spinal cord where pain signals travel. Because the dose is delivered more directly than it is with oral medications, the patient finds relief with a fraction of the oral dose. Because smaller amounts of medication are required with this method, the usual side effects of oral pain medications are greatly reduced (drowsiness, upset stomach, vomiting, and constipation).
  9. Acupuncture
    Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture are sometimes an effective way to relieve chronic pain without the use of drugs or invasive procedures.
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