The Graston technique is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). It is a type of manual therapy that incorporates special ergonomic tools, such as a Graston tool, that are used to gently massage and scrape parts of the skin. The Graston tool is a stainless steel instrument used to heal injuries to soft tissues, such as sprains, strains, subluxations, and repetitive use injuries.
Are you suffering from a soft tissue injury? Do you have a sports injury or injury from a car accident? Do you have scars or adhesions that are causing pain and limiting your movement? If so, the Graston Technique and muscle scraping can help you.
The Graston Technique can also be used to treat numerous other conditions, including lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, quadricep pain, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, and headaches. To learn more about how the Graston Technique can benefit you, request an appointment at OSR Physical Therapy today!
What should I know about the Graston Technique?
Before adding the Graston Technique or muscle scraping to your treatment plan, here are some helpful facts to keep in mind:
- More than 31,000 clinicians worldwide use the Graston Technique.
- Over 3,600 outpatient facilities implement Graston Technique treatment plans.
- It is used by 16 NBA teams, 18 NFL teams, 16 MLB teams.
- More than 500 professional and amateur sports organizations use the Graston technique.
- It is part of the curriculum at more than 50 colleges and universities.
What are the benefits of the Graston Technique?
Scar tissue is a type of fibrous connective tissue that receives less blood than normal tissue and stretches much less. It tends to be thick and may build up around the ligaments, tendons, and muscles after an injury. Many people struggle to figure out how to break up scar tissue as they age. The buildup of soft tissue is referred to as adhesions. Injuries that may result in adhesions include shin splints, pulled hamstrings, meniscal tears, and much more. When you are injured, adhesions and scar tissue may occur either in the tissues or in the skin, all of which can be relieved with the Graston Technique.
It is believed that scar tissue and adhesions prevent the underneath body structures from moving properly. This is because ligaments, tendons, and muscles are unable to move freely. It’s problematic because scar tissue and adhesions may bend to fascia and cause a condition known as fascial restriction. Adhesions and scar tissue can also occur on a smaller scale as a result of a cross-linking of muscle fibers.
Over time, even the wear and tear of everyday life can cause muscle fibers to adhere to each other irregularly. With the Graston technique, the treatment causes muscle fiber separation, which reduces pain and increases functional mobility.
What can I expect from muscle scraping therapy?
At the beginning of a Graston Technique treatment, the areas of the soft tissue fibrosis will be moved to make the scar tissue more receptive. The edge of the Graston tool will be used to slowly glide across the affected soft tissue until it comes in contact with an adhesion. Our physical therapists will then rub over the adhesion to elicit movement. This friction will help promote the healing process of your soft tissue injury.
The amount of pressure used with the instrument, and the speed at which it is done will vary depending on the nature of your condition, and it will be adjusted throughout the treatment. After each treatment, the affected area will be stretched and our physical therapist will provide you with ice packs if you experience any soreness.
What Does Muscle Scraping Therapy Do?
Muscle scraping promotes better blood circulation and can also improve your range of motion. Other common benefits of muscle scraping therapy include pain relief and anti-inflammation. Most patients who receive the Graston technique will undergo two treatments of body scraping a week, over a five-week time frame. You should expect to notice relief by the third or fourth treatment.
Some of the many benefits of the Graston Technique include:
- Reduction in pain, for a better quality of life
- Reduction in inflammation
- Increased mobility and ability to perform daily tasks
- Increased rate of volume and blood flow to affected areas to enhance healing
- Boost in cellular activity for good health
- Breakdown of collagen cross-links
Add the Graston Technique to your Treatment Plan
Are you ready to get started on the path toward relief and recovery with the Graston Technique? Contact OSR today to request an appointment with one of our dedicated Anthem, Phoenix, Peoria, Gilbert, Scottsdale, Sun City, Moon Valley, & Glendale AZ physical therapists. We are committed to helping you heal and get back to your pain-free life!