Graston Technique® (GT) in the treatment of Soft Tissue Injuries.
What is Graston Technique® (GT)?
Graston Technique is a unique, evidence based form of IASTM that uses 6 specially designed stainless-steel instruments with unique edges and angles to deliver an effective means of manual therapy. It enables clinicians to effectively and efficiently address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.
The therapist uses the appropriate GT tool for the body part that they need to work on. They utilize different pressure and directions into the injured area to help break down the collagen cross-links that have formed and then help re-align them with proper stretching, ROM and strengthening activities. This leads to the restoration of pain-free movement and function.
The theory behind this technique is that by using the instruments to introduce microtrauma into the area of excessive scarring and/or soft tissue fibrosis, an inflammatory response occurs and will help to facilitate the healing process.
What Is a Soft-Tissue Injury?
Soft-tissue injuries occur when there is damage to the muscles, ligaments, tendons and/or fascia somewhere in the body. Common soft-tissue injuries usually occur from a sprain, strain, blow to the body resulting in a contusion (ruptured blood vessels/bruising), or overuse injuries. Soft tissue injuries can often lead to pain, swelling, bruising and loss of function. Adhesions are another form of soft tissue problems, they occur in the soft tissue and may result due to a repeated strain, surgery or immobilization.
IASTM involves using tools to enable clinicians to efficiently locate and treat individuals diagnosed with soft-tissue dysfunction. Many different materials have been used to make the instruments (i.e. wood, ceramics, plastics, stone and stainless steel). The Graston Technique is one of the more popular and effective forms of IASTM.
- To break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions that can be associated with a soft tissue injury (strained muscle or a pulled ligament).
- Reduce restrictions by stretching connective tissue to help to re-arrange collagen cross-links of the soft tissue being treated (muscle, tendons, ligaments or fascia).
- To promote a better healing environment for the injured tissue to speed the healing process.
Graston Technique can help treat the following issues:
- Cervical and lumbar sprains and strains
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Achilles Tendonitis
- Shin Splints – Patellofrmoral Disorders
- Scar Tissue – Shoulder Pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Lateral and Medial Epicondylitis
RESEARCH SUPPORTS GT
The effectiveness of the Graston Technique® is founded in research. Research conducted by Graston Technique® trained clinicians at Ball Memorial Hospital and Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., found that the controlled micro-trauma induced through Graston Technique® protocol increased the amount of fibroblasts to the treated area.
That amount of inflammation to the scar tissue helps initiate the healing cascade. The structure of the tissue is rearranged and damaged tissue is replaced by new tissue. Ice is then applied to reduce the pain and exercise is implemented to increase function and range of motion.
(Information taken from Graston Technique® website)