What is the Graston Technique ®?
Graston Technique® (GT) is a unique, evidence-based form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively and efficiently address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.GT uses specially designed stainless steel instruments with unique treatment edges and angles to deliver an effective means of manual therapy. The use of GT instruments, when combined with appropriate therapeutic exercise, leads to the restoration of pain-free movement and function. The instruments also are used diagnostically to assess the kinetic chain, in an efficient manner using the principles of regional interdependence.
Evidence for physiological effects of GT:
Separates and breaks down collagen cross-links, and splays and stretches connective tissue and muscle fibers
Facilitates reflex changes in the chronic muscle holding pattern (inhibition of abnormal tone/guarding leading to pain reduction via improved sensory input)
Alters/inhibits spinal reflex activity (facilitated segment)
Increases the rate and amount of blood flow to and from the area (angiogenesis vs. immediate local increases in blood flow)
Increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts and mast cells
Increases histamine response secondary to mast cell activity
Why is Scar tissue bad?
Scar tissue limits range of motion due its negative impact on sensory motor firing rates and frequencies. Abnormal sensory inputs perpetuate a dysfunctional cycle of nervous system sensitization, pain and dysfunctional movement/motor output. GT offers a positive method of manual therapy that interrupts and breaks this cycle of pain and dysfunctional movement.
How is Graston Technique used?
GT instruments are used first to enhance the clinician’s ability to detect soft tissue lesions, scar tissue/fibrosis or restrictions in the affected areas as determined from a comprehensive examination of movement and function. 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 then used to address and treat the abnormal tissue. When GT is combined with appropriate therapeutic exercises and activities, pain free function is often restored.
What are the potential results incorporating GT into treatment or recovery?
Historically, the Graston Technique® has had positive outcomes in 90 percent of all conditions treated in our clinic. It is equally effective in restoring function to acute and chronic injuries, pre- and post-surgical patients and maintaining optimal range of motion.
How often is GT treatments?
Depending upon the nature of the injury or maintenance program, patients usually receive 1-2 treatments per week during the span of 4-5 weeks. Most patients have a positive response by the 3rd or 4th treatment. The average number of GT sessions per episode of care averages between 6-12 for more chronic conditions.
What conditions can be treated with GT?
GT-trained clinicians use GT instruments to effectively and efficiently address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions while treating acute and chronic conditions, including:
Achilles Tendinitis/osis (ankle pain)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
Cervicothoracic Sprain/Strain (neck pain)
Lateral Epicondylitis/osis (tennis elbow)
Lumbosacral Sprain/Strain (back pain)
Medial Epicondylitis/osis (golfer’s elbow)
Myofascial Pain Syndromes
Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
Plantar Fasciitis/osis (foot pain)
Post surgeries such as joint replacements, RTC repairs (once post-surgical protocol allows for soft tissue mobilization/manual therapy)
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis/osis (shoulder pain)
Scar Tissue/post-surgical scars (once completely closed)
Patients demonstrating central and/or peripheral sensitization (only used in light stroking/brushing mode to desensitize)
Women’s Health (post-mastectomy and Caesarean scarring)
Graston Technique® can be used to treat any movement system dysfunction that has been determined to have a soft tissue component.
Information taken from http://www.grastontechnique.com