WHAT IS GRASTON THERAPY?
Originally developed for athletes, Graston Therapy is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that effectively breaks down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The treatment itself doesn’t take long, but there can be some minor discomfort accompanied when beveled edge is moved across the skin. In areas of high scar tissue formation, Petechiae will form. These small red dots may look unhealthy, but they are actually significant when found. Not only can we objectively correlate the pain pattern with the presence of petechiae, but also helps the clinician identify where treatment needs to be applied. This is why we often use this therapy first, so that the other modalities can be applied to areas of high scar tissue activity.
HOW DOES GRASTON THERAPY WORK?
The high-speed vibration induces the “Tonic Vibration Reflux” (TVR) that uncouples the guarding reflex of agonist & antagonist muscles. The TVR reflux can be evoked by placing a vibrator, in this case RR, on a muscle’s tendon. This Hz vibration activates receptors of the skin, tendons and most importantly, muscle spindles. Muscle spindle discharges are sent to the spinal cord through afferent nerve fiber, where they activate monosynaptic and polysynaptic reflex arcs.
WHAT IS GRASTON THERAPY USED TO TREAT?
Many of our patients suffer from pain, restricted range of motion, and/or numbness due to underlying causes. One of the most common causes is the buildup of scar tissue and trigger points, which is the main use for this tool.
Scar tissue, in short, does not have the same flexibility and elasticity as healthy muscle. Since it doesn’t lengthen like normal muscle, areas with scar tissue may have limited range of motion and an altered joint axis of rotation. Please see the tab tabled scar tissue to learn more!
Trigger points or muscle “knots” are sensitive spots in soft tissue, and too many of them can cause “myofascial pain syndrome.” They are usually described as micro-cramps, due to the non-voluntary contracture of the muscle. These sore spots are as common as pimples and can grow like weeds around injuries if left untreated. This is due to the recruiting process of other muscles that are injured. In turn though, however, the recruiting muscles form their own trigger points. Please see the tab tabled trigger points tissue to learn more!
Other commonly treated conditions:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Plantar fascitis
- Tennis elbow
- Shin splints
- Iliotibial band syndrome