Graston Technique: Can This Physical Therapy Treatment Help Your Pain?
Graston. Many people know what this is, and many people do not. So let me explain.
Graston is a specific treatment technique that is often used in physical therapy. It is a form of IASTM, or Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization. Fancy, right?
Well, now what exactly is Soft Tissue? Because I comprehend better with visualization, here is an informative image:
Thank you to the folks at Graston Technique for providing this image and the great "orange" analogy.
Soft tissue is VERY IMPORTANT! It is comprised of your muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia. Over time soft tissue can become restricted and contribute to the pain, limitations of movement, and reduced overall function that you are experiencing.
Far too often I see my patients become totally consumed by the fact that they have "a pinched nerve" or "degeneration in their joints".
Now I am not denying that some pain and function limitations may be stemming from these diagnoses, however soft tissue limitations and restrictions CANNOT be overlooked! The fascial system is very intricate and complex!
Lets just discuss a quick example:
Say you have a pinched nerve in your neck. You have arm pain and a whole lot of pain in your shoulder and upper trapezius area (the space between your neck and shoulder). Well, when you have this type of injury, typically your musculature and the soft tissue around the area will tighten. This in itself can contribute to pain and limited movement. So in addition to addressing the "pinched nerve" you must also address the "soft tissue restrictions" in order to feel better. Your physical therapist can help!
This is where Graston comes in.
Graston allows me as a physical therapist to pick up where the areas of soft tissue restriction lay. Graston tools come in all different shapes to allow for optimal use on all body parts. Typically I tell my patients that this tool quickly allows me to assess an
area and identify the spots with the most soft tissue restriction. The tool is run over the skin once an emollient, or a hypoallergenic lotion, is placed on the area to allow for increased comfort. To you and me, areas of restriction feel like "lumps" or "grittiness" (I am not sure that is even a word, but it gets gets my point across). Once these areas are found the tool can be used for treatment. Guided exercises and stretches are followed by the use of Graston.
As a physical therapist we learn many "tools" for our "tool box" of treatment options. There are many additional certifications that a physical therapist can pursue. I am happy to be a Graston Technique provider. I find it effective and it helps to aid in my patients recovery. Typically, my patients notice quicker results, within a few weeks. Happy patients=a happier therapist.
To come in and learn more about the use of Graston for your specific pain, feel free to call us at 959-209-4318 or sign up for a free consultation here.
For more information on the Graston Technique, visit the website.