Graston Technique Basics: How to Stop Pain In Its Tracks
If you’re in pain from a soft tissue injury, finding an effective treatment is the first step in reducing your discomfort and returning to your daily activities. You may be tempted to take a pain pill and go about your day, but that is only masking the issue and delaying treatment, which could worsen the problem over the long term. Before you reach for the ibuprofen, consider myofascial release techniques to stop pain at the source.
What is the Graston Technique for Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release therapy via the Graston Technique uses metal instruments to scrape the skin over painful areas of soft tissues–namely muscles, ligaments, and tendons–which breaks up “knots” or adhesions. The scraping motion penetrates through the skin and into the tissues and muscles, increasing blood flow to the injury. The result is twofold–proper blood flow carries out toxins and other waste products and brings fresh nutrients to the tender spot, and the pressure on the affected area physically stretches and lubricates the tissues, returning them to their original, healthy state.
Will My Condition Respond to Graston Therapy?
If your injury or ailment involves soft body tissues, you can absolutely benefit from this treatment program. Some specific conditions that respond particularly well to the treatment are:
- plantar fasciitis
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- shin splints
- post-surgical scarring and adhesions
- muscle strains and sprains
- lower back pain
If you’re unsure whether your condition would improve with Graston Therapy, ask your doctor or physical therapist if it’s right for you.
What to Expect During a Typical Graston Therapy Session
During your appointment, you’ll work with your chiropractor to identify painful areas, injuries, and other tight and stiff spots. Your chiropractic will then use specifically designed stainless steel instruments to detect and effectively treat areas of soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation. The amount of work done is based on your tolerance and response to the treatment.
While you can expect results from the very first treatment, complete relief usually requires several visits. Afterward, your skin will most likely appear red or even bruised, but this is expected and is a sign that the treatment has effectively increased circulation in that area. Your therapist will send you home with some stretches to promote mobility and keep the adhesions from freezing up again.
Why Use the Graston Technique?
Perhaps the most significant advantage of the Graston Technique over other therapies is that it’s non-invasive and a truly effective first step in your attempts to heal your injury. While it’s considered a conservative treatment, it’s still powerful–a whopping 75-90% of patients will find a marked improvement in their pain and increased range of motion. While you may experience some soreness and require a bit of rest during the initial process, there is no real downtime required; you can still go to work and participate in normal family activities.
Looking for relief from soft tissue injuries or chronic muscle discomfort? Contact Raleigh Specific Chiropractic at (919) 704-4806 to learn more about the Graston Technique and how it can help you regain motion and reduce pain. Don’t wait, take the first step towards healing today!