The Graston Technique is a type of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) that uses stainless-steel instruments specifically designed to mobilize soft tissues. Physical therapists can incorporate this method as part of a customized treatment plan to alleviate concerns such as scar tissue and reduced motion range. The Graston Technique requires not only specific tools but specialized training to ensure the proper use of the instruments and increase your chances of recovery.
Your therapist identifies bumps and other fibrotic changes in the tissue in painful or otherwise troublesome areas. They can then combine other PT methods with the Graston Technique to treat the areas to restore sufficient and painless function.
What Can Benefit from the Graston Technique?
The Graston Technique can especially help individuals who experience any of the following:
- Chronic pain, inflammation, or injuries
- Reduced range of motion
- Scar tissues, including those due to a mastectomy or a cesarean delivery
It generally accelerates the recovery process and can decrease or eliminate the need for anti-inflammatory medications. This method has a high rate of success and can also help people during their preoperative care and postoperative rehabilitation.
Your physical therapist may recommend the Graston Technique for a while range of conditions and injuries such as:
- Back, neck, or shoulder pain
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Trigger finger
- Knee pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Achilles tendonitis
Your physical therapy treatment plan can include a wide range of other methods such as manual therapy without instruments, EPAT, cupping, and arthritis-focused exercises.
What Happens During a Treatment Session?
Depending on which area(s) you need to get treated, your physical therapist can use different Graston stainless steel instruments for optimal results. During your in-office appointment, your therapist usually spends 30 to 60 seconds on each targeted area.
The Graston Technique often involves smooth and long motions on the treated area. Although this technique should not be painful, experiencing discomfort is common.
You can expect manual therapy and other methods during the rest of your appointment. This may include demonstrating (non-Graston Technique) exercises you need to practice at home between your sessions.
The way the Graston Technique can increase your range of motion and alleviate pain helps you make progress with your overall PT protocol. Although your therapist can walk you through some other exercises via telehealth, the Graston Technique requires in-office visits.
How Often Do I Need to Schedule Appointments?
The length of your Graston treatment depends on your specific situation. You typically need to wait at least 48 hours between appointments, and you can expect to see your physical therapist once or twice a week for your Graston appointments.
Your therapist usually uses the Graston Technique as one component of your overall recovery plan. While your physical therapy may last longer, the Graston Technique portion of your treatment plan often spans several weeks.
Contact ProFysio Physical Therapy today at (732) 812-5200 to schedule an appointment in Monmouth or Middlesex Counties. Our staff can recommend the Graston Technique as part of your personalized treatment if appropriate.