Graston is a technique that uses metal tools to help reduce painful motions, break up adhesions that have built up between muscles, help reduce scar tissue, and promote a faster return to activity.
Also known as, Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), each metal tool used has a unique size, shape, and purpose that allows for more accurate treatment as they conform to different areas in the body.
This technique can be used on soft tissue injuries involving the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and fascia. By breaking up scar tissue and adhesions, tissue healing can truly begin.
What to Expect From a Treatment Using Graston?
Initially, the skilled practitioner will assess the problem area and find the fibrotic tissue, which identifies the areas of restriction. The process of IASTM is to use the edge of the stainless steel tool to slowly glide across the problem tissue area to promote movement. The friction from the rubbing of the tool will help to promote the healing process of soft tissue injury. At Enhanced Health & Wellness, we utilize Graston as a treatment in 5 different ways:
Static treatment (no movement)
- This technique is the traditional way of performing Graston or IASTM. The patient will be in a specific position (prone, supine, sitting, etc.) while the practitioner determines the problem area and uses the tool to break up the fibrotic tissue.
- During this form of treatment, the patient will be asked to move the muscle/body part through a normal range of motion. Once a specific range of motion is determined to create pain (ie. Pain in the right trap when looking up at the ceiling), the procedure will be performed in the painful area while moving through the range of motion that produces the pain.
- This method of treatment is assessed similarly to the motion technique. The patient will be asked to move the muscle/body part through a normal range of motion. The difference with this technique is before you reach the painful point in the range of motion, the practitioner will get you to resist as they work on the problem area.
- The practitioner will assess the types of movements that reproduce the pain (ie. Pain in the quad when doing a squat). Once this is determined, IASTM will be used on the problem area while performing the functional movement. This is done in a slow repetitive motion for a few minutes.
- This procedure is a unique form of treatment in comparison to the forms. Graston is performed while the patient is doing some balance training. This advanced technique is used with specific goals in mind depending on the patient’s activity requirements.
At the time your condition is assessed, your practitioner will determine which technique is the most suitable based on your complaint and presentation.
How Can Graston Help Me?
Injury to the soft tissue is common, whether it is from a repetitive strain or from a traumatic event. These injuries involve the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia.
When an injury occurs, inflammation and tissue regeneration begin as the initial part of the healing process.
As these injuries heal, adhesions and scar tissue form in the muscle and surrounding soft tissue areas.
During the healing process (and even when the injury has healed), remnants of the scar tissue or adhesions may remain in the muscles and ligaments.
These adhesions or fibrous nodules can be laid down in a ‘cross-link’ fashion which restricts movement and is often associated with extreme tightness or pain.
By breaking down the adhesions or fibrotic nodules, the muscles, ligaments, and/or tendons are no longer restricted and able to move more freely.
This results in less worry of pain and more enjoyment in daily life.
Some of the many benefits of Graston include:
- Pain reduction
- Reduction of Keloid scars
- Increase in range of motion
- Faster Rehabilitation
- Increased blood flow to allow quicker healing time
- Ability to perform daily living activities better
- Better quality of life
At Enhanced Health & Wellness, we focus on treatments that are non-invasive, and non-surgical. IASTM or Graston has been an effective tool to achieve our patient’s goals conservatively and without the use of medication.
If you believe you can benefit from high-quality care, our skilled chiropractor and massage therapists are dedicated to providing the best care. Patient wellness is our top priority, and our practitioners work with each patient to make sure they can live without pain.
If you are suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above, consider how your life could be if you were pain free! Don’t hesitate to start your journey to recovery and living a more active and healthy lifestyle.