Graston and IASTM Therapy to Improve Health and Performance
The Graston Technique and IASTM Therapy are a form of hands-on therapy known as soft-tissue instrument-assisted mobilization. There are many different approaches to soft tissue therapy, in this article we are going to go over what to expect at Rising Sun Chiropractic when you receive Graston or IASTM therapy.
What are the goals of these therapies?
The general goals of these therapies are to reduce your pain and increase function through a combination of:
- Breaking down the scar tissue and fascia restrictions that are usually associated with some form of trauma to the soft tissue (e.g., a strained muscle or a pulled ligament, tendon, or fascia).
- Reducing restrictions by stretching connective tissue in an attempt to rearrange the structure of the soft tissue being treated (e.g., muscle, fascia, tendons, ligaments).
- Promoting a better healing environment for the injured soft tissue.
- Trigger the recruitment of specific repair cells in the body, fibroblasts, to come to the area treated and focus on repairing the tissue.
What are the Benefits of Graston and IASTM Therapy?
In our daily lives, we rely on our bodies to be able to move in expected and pain-free ways. This movement requires free moving joints, healthy strong muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Injuries to these soft tissues play a significant role in the pain and dysfunction associated with the back, shoulder, hip, knee, and any joint of the body. While it may not sound like a serious injury, a simple back muscle strain or strained ligament in the back can cause excruciating pain and difficulty with movement.
The Graston and Advanced Soft Tissue Therapy offer several potential advantages to you in your recovery. With most soft tissue and joint injuries these techniques can:
- Fostering faster rehabilitation/recovery
- Decreasing overall treatment time
- Reducing the need for anti-inflammatory medication
- Resolving chronic conditions thought to be permanent
The typical course of treatment for lower back pain generally ranges from 1 to 10 visits over several weeks.
What Should You Expect at Rising Sun Chiropractic with Graston and IASTM Therapy
During Graston Treatment
- The practitioner will utilize the appropriate Graston Technique and IASTM instruments to scan, then treat, the affected area.
- Treatment generally consists of the clinician rubbing the affected area(s) with the handheld stainless steel Graston Technique instruments, using very specific, calculated movement techniques.
- Typically the injured area is in motion during the therapy.
- Treatment time is usually 30 to 60 seconds per area treated.
- It is common for patients to experience some discomfort during the procedure.
Dr. Nelson and the team at Rising Sun Chiropractic will walk you through what happens during and after care. You may be sore, bruised, or exhibit small red dots over the area treated, called petechiae. We often pair motion and exercise with the therapy to help you recover more quickly and stimulate your body to repair the treated tissues.
Dr. Nelson routinely hears from patients that they experience an increased range of motion and reduced pain after the first treatment.
Graston Therapy and IASTM treat soft tissue-related conditions, including:
- Lower back muscle strain or sprain
- Achilles tendinosis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Cervical sprain/strain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Rotator cuff tendinosis
- Shin splints
- Tennis/golfer’s elbow
When should you have these therapies done?
When an injury within the soft tissue occurs, the tissue repairs itself in a haphazard pattern, forming scar tissue. Think about cooked spaghetti noodles in a bowl or a tangle in a fishing line. While the scar tissue itself is not painful, it does tend to limit the range of motion, and the ongoing stiffness may contribute to chronic pain. The therapy helps our bodies re-arrange that injury into more of a normal crosshatch pattern.
Are there contraindications?
Not all candidates with pain from soft-tissue injury are candidates for the Graston or IASTM Technique. In general, it should not be used with any condition contraindicated for soft-tissue mobilization.
In addition, patients with any of the following conditions are not good candidates for the treatment:
- Open wounds around the area to be treated
- High blood pressure
- Cancer (depending on the type and location)
- Avoid having the therapy done over the spine, pelvis, abdomen, during pregnancy.
- Taking blood thinners