The Graston Technique is a branded form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). IASTM is a broad category of manual therapy techniques involving specialized tools to break up scar tissue and relieve tension in stiff muscles. The Graston Technique involves curved, stainless steel tools with rounded edges designed to detect fibrotic or hardened tissue areas.
Physical therapists must undergo extensive training to obtain Graston certification. We have specialists in clinics all over the country who can perform the Graston Technique and help relieve your chronic pain symptoms.
Conditions We Treat
The Graston Technique is specifically designed to break up scar tissue, which can cause inflammation and pain in various areas of the body. Here are a few conditions that can produce scar tissue and, therefore, can be treated with the help of the Graston Technique:
- Post-surgical fibrosis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
- Golfer’s elbow
- Plantar fasciitis
- Rotator cuff tendinitis
- Trigger finger
- Sprains in various body parts
- Repetitive stress injuries
This list is by no means a complete list of all the conditions the Graston technique can treat. It is also effective for various undiagnosed chronic pain (hip pain, ankle pain, elbow pain, etc.). It is also often used as part of a "pre-habilitation" regimen before surgery because it mobilizes the muscles and can help people to recover from operations faster.
What to Expect During Treatment
Prior to treatment, your physical therapist may ask you to perform 10 minutes of cardiovascular activity to get your blood flowing. This will help get blood circulating toward your injury and can make the Graston Technique more effective. They may also apply heat or ultrasound treatment for the same reason.
There are six specific tools used in performing this technique, each used to apply different types of pressure. Some tools can be used throughout the entire body, while others are designed to be used on specific areas like the biceps, hamstrings, etc. Your physical therapist will assess your condition and choose the appropriate tools to treat you.
Once they choose their toolkit for your treatment, your specialist will rub each affected area with the instruments using very strategic, carefully chosen movements. They will rub each area for 30 to 60 seconds. The exact number of sessions varies depending on the patient’s condition, but most patients are recommended to receive Graston treatments twice a week (with 48 hours between sessions) for several weeks. Many patients experience discomfort during the first few sessions but start to feel pain relief after the third or fourth session.
Interested in the Graston Technique? Wondering if it could be an effective treatment for your chronic pain? Contact an Alliance clinic in your city to schedule an appointment today!