The Graston Technique
Chiropractors practice many different methods to treat soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue mobilization uses a hands-on technique, using massage motions on muscles and ligaments in order to break down adhesions. An adhesion is your body’s attempt to heal a soft tissue injury that results in long strands of collagenous scar tissue. The tissue is formed to heal your body, but its fibers grow in random directions and can pull against one another. This results in trigger points of pain, and can limit range of motion. The Graston technique is an instrument-assisted method of soft tissue mobilization that has seen great results from treating scar tissue.
This treatment method was developed by an amateur athlete named David Graston. After a knee injury, he applied his background in machining to develop instruments to aid in soft tissue mobilization. There are six specialized tools varying sizes made of stainless steel. These instruments have concave and convex edges to help target certain areas, and can be used everywhere from the back to the hands and feet. Chiropractors use these tools on the surface of the skin in what resembles a raking motion. This helps detect and treat areas of fibrous tissue.
The Graston technique not only helps with scar tissue, but this therapy has proven to reduce overall time of recovery from soft tissue injuries. Repeated treatments have even helped patients find relief from the effects of the following chronic conditions:
- Tennis Elbow
- Shin Splits
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Carpal Tunnel
- Achilles Tendonitis
A full treatment session using the Graston technique involves a short warm-up exercise, followed by the treatment and some light stretching. A treatment with the Graston technique shouldn’t be painful. Patients have described minor discomfort during treatment, and slight soreness and bruising afterwards. Stretching and icing after each treatment are recommended if discomfort continues. The number of treatment sessions will depend on the patient and condition, but the Graston technique is a safe, non-invasive treatment for scar tissue and various soft tissue injuries.