Graston Technique is a soft tissue mobilization technique used by various forms of healthcare practitioners, such as chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, and some MDs. Graston technique employs a set of stainless steel tools to help the practitioner identify and treat scar tissue and abnormal soft tissue glide.
Injuries addressed by Graston Technique
Graston is commonly used in the treatment of soft tissue injuries, such as ligament sprains and muscle strains. Here area select few:
- Ankle Sprains
- Tennis Elbow
- Golfer’s Elbow
- Plantar Fascitis
- MCL or LCL Sprain
- Shoulder Injuries
- Calve Muscle Strains
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Graston Technique Treatment Sessions
A soft tissue Graston Technique treament usually involves a “scraping” of the skin with one of six stainless steel tools with a dull beveled edge. Graston tool as specifically designed to treat the underlying soft tissue structures with minimal irritation to the skin and
blood vessels in the area. They are used to break adhesions within the problem tissue and reset the way that your brain talks to the injured or dysfunctional area. The treatment is very quick and risk-free for most people. An emollient is usually applied to the skin to allow the Graston tools to glide properly and reduce irritation.
These treaments are not usually painful but can be uncomfortable if applied aggressively. You may experience reddening of the skin and mild bruising in the following days after a treatment.
Where Graston really shines is in treatment of chronic injury. It has been shown in research to help induce healing and re-alignment of muscle and ligament fibers that have healed incorrectly or function improperly.
How Graston Technique Works
The application of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (as in Graston Technique) has been around for ages. However, in recent years some research and new thought processes are emerging, indicating some very specific methods by which it might work. Here are some of the most common ways by which Graston could improve soft tissue injuries:
- breaking down of scar tissue formed after injury or due to excessive inflammation
- increasing the pliability of tissues to allow better stretch and less injury
- changing the input from painful areas into the brain, hence changing pain sensation
- increasing activity of the specific cells (fibroblasts) responsible for building new, strong soft tissue
- increasing activity of the “garbage man” cells in tissues to help clean up excess
- increasing blood flow to the painful area, allowing for removal of hazardous inflammatory by-products
- remodeling of permanently misaligned fibres in tendons and ligaments
Some other things to know about Graston Technique
It can be used alone, but seldom is.
At the Valeo Health Clinic, we use an integrated approach to manual therapy and patient care. Although Graston alone can make a large difference in many peoples’ pain, we often use it as part of a diversified regimen.
While being treated with Graston Technique, you should maintain activity.
None of the effects of Graston treatment will preclude you from maintaining your typical daily activities. Your doctor will help you decide if you should refrain from activity due to your injury, but the treatment itself will not change your activity levels.
Graston Technique is often used for post-surgical improvement.
Practitioners have successfully implemented Graston Technique for many post-surgical complications. All surgeries create scarring and tissue dysfunction. Using Graston Technique to treat these dysfunctional soft tissues can help return them closer to a pre-surgical state. Some of such surgeries which leave a considerable amount of scar tissues include
- Mastectomy (Single or Double)
- Cesarian Section
- Carpal Tunnel Surgery
- Lumbar Discectomy
- MCL/Meniscus Surgery
- ACL Reconstruction (especially via Autograph)
Graston Technique is only offered at a select few clinics in the Okanagan.
Currently, the Valeo Health Clinic is one of only three clinics which offer the Graston Technique in Kelowna.
Interested in finding out more about Graston Technique? Contact the Valeo Health Clinic and set up a no-hassle chat with one of our doctors to discuss how it might benefit your health!