Graston Technique or GT is a method used for assessing and treating conditions of the skeletal muscles and the connective tissue underlying it. It employs the use of six stainless tools with varied sizes and shapes. These are used to palpate the body of the patient in order to detect and manage conditions such as adhesions of the tendons and muscles.
Graston technique uses the instruments in mobilizing the soft tissues. One of the uses of Graston technique is to detect scar tissue and restrictions, which affects normal functioning. Scar tissues are an abnormal tissue formation as a result of injury, which restricts range of motion and flexibility of the muscles and connective tissues. Scar tissue may also cause pain, which limits the functioning of a person. After injury, the tissues form a haphazard pattern during wound healing. This causes significant limitation in the functioning of the underlying structures. Aside from managing scar tissue in the muscle fibers, Graston technique employs a lot of benefits.
Specific benefits of Graston Technique include:
Improves the blood circulation to and from a specific area in the body
Increases inflammatory response by stimulating histamine release by the mast cells thereby improving tissue repair
Improves activity of cells in coagulation and inflammation
Improves skin temperature
Facilitates reflex activity of muscles
Improves the flexibility of muscles and connective tissues by breaking down cross-links in the structures
Alters spinal reflux activity thereby improving nerve impulse transmissions.
The procedure of Graston Technique
Before the actual procedure, the patient does brief warm-up exercises to allow the muscles to stretch and adapt to the procedure. After which, the instruments are employed. The instruments are used to comb over and identify fibrous tissue by identifying areas of restriction during the application of pressure with the instruments. After the identification, the instruments are used to break the fibrous or scar tissues. The principle involved in such is the notion that the body will eventually absorb these tissues that has been disintegrated by the use of Graston technique. Following the procedure, the patient is again instructed to do some stretching to maximize the flexibility of the tissues. Ice packs are also placed in the area to relieve swelling and prevent bruising.
The treatment causes minor discomfort as the instruments are being applied on the body surface. The vigorous combing of the instruments during treatment may also cause bruising as part of the healing process.
The treatment usually is undertaken two times per week for 4 to 5 weeks. Significant improvements are initially observed after the 3rd week. The Graston technique does not affect functioning and activities in any way so it is beneficial for people who have a busy lifestyle.
The use of the Graston technique is patterned to the usual cross fiber massage. It is being used in a variety of settings such as in industrial on site treatments as well as in sports.
Graston technique is contraindicated to pregnant women, patients with open wounds, cancer, high blood pressure and fracture. It’s important to be seen by someone with experience using this technique, like Dr. Mohr, your Tampa chiropractor, so if you’re near New Tampa, Wesley Chapel or the surrounding area, come by for an in-person visit and demonstration.