Information about an effective instrument-based soft tissue treatment alternative.
This is a guest post by chiropractor Christie Mallett at Cartwright Physicaltherapy.
I began my Graston experience under the tutorage of a previous senior practitioner. Graston Technique is a patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilisation that enables clinicians to break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions more effectively. The technique utilises specially designed stainless steel instruments to pinpoint areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.
At current, studying Graston Technique is only possible through courses offered in the US. As this form of treatment has seen been so successful in the management of soft tissue injuries and complaints, my tutor travelled to the US for a weekend to participate in the course. Fortunately for me, upon his return to Melbourne where I was practicing, I was privy to all of his learnings about the technique. After weeks of advice from him and practicing on each other, I began treating my own patients with impressive results
Graston technique works by amplifying the feel of the scar tissue in the body, thus making problem areas easier to identify than just by simple skin-to-skin contact. The use of the instruments assists in breaking down the scar adhesions and facilitating optimal healing within the injured muscle or ligament. It increases the absorption rate of the tissue that is broken down making it a faster way to rehabilitate injured regions. Due to the rapid breaking up of scar tissue, you can expect side affects of local soreness for around 48-72 hours after the treatment.
This technique is fantastic for those of you that have previously had an injury whether it be a sprained ankle from a running injury or shoulder issue. It is also used in post surgery rehabilitation I found it was also fantastic on previous ‘corkies’ as although they arent giving you grief at the time, they are more susceptible to re-injury. Interestingly, Michael Phelps, American swimming champion, has spoken about using Graston Technique as a means of recovery post training.
The Graston instruments are specifically shaped to maximize the benefits of certain anatomical areas, such as a small hook-shaped instrument for use at the ankle or a longer bow-shaped instrument for the neck and shoulder region. There have been many similar techniques such as Gua sha, Smcittar, and IAM instruments, but Graston currently has the largest following of practitioners. Whilst there are a range of Graston instruments, essentially all that is needed is a blunt metallic object with a straight edge. This is the instrument I have been improvising with. I use this in conjunction with fisiocrem to assist in reducing any inflammation within the area.
Some years back, I was treated using Graston Technique for a hamstring injury. Both the comfort and effectiveness of the treatment saw me return quickly to activity. The benefits of this technique has prompted me to use it in practice on my patients who have also seen many positive results.
If you are suffering a soft tissue injury to ligaments or muscles, be sure to give it a try some day. See you in practice soon!
*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this discussion are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.