Graston Technique for Sprain or Strain
Many types of physical therapy treatments either help you heal from recent injuries or work to prevent injuries from happening at all. They often focus on your joints, muscle groups, and connective tissue.
The Graston Treatment is different, in that it focuses on the surface layer of muscle right under your skin. It treats the scar tissue and adhesions that can build up over time, limiting your movement and strength.
The trained experts at TRI Physical Therapy in Brooklyn use the Graston Technique when they believe it would be effective.
Many New Yorkers are limited in their daily lives by soft tissue injuries. Any sort of trauma to your skin, muscles, tendons or ligaments can cause pain and upset your daily routines. These injuries shouldn’t be confused with fractures, which affect your bones, or injuries to your internal organs. The pain and symptoms you experience with soft tissue injuries differ from those injuries.
Graston Technique to Mobilize Your Muscles
The Graston technique is a patented form of physical therapy, in which stainless steel tools are used to perform muscle mobilizations.
The trained professionals who use these tools follow your body’s kinetic chain to uncover and treat the causes of your pain. It’s a proven technique. While the Graston Technique may cause you some discomfort during treatment, it’s not painful and serves to lessen your other pain.
As with any physical therapy treatment and like a firm massage, you likely experience some soreness afterward.
Symptoms of Treatable Injuries
Injuries often arise from acute trauma, which occurs when an external force hits your body. But you can also sustain an injury from chronic overuse. Acute trauma is always a sudden injury, while overuse ones develop slowly, over time. The most common types of soft tissue injuries are avulsions, contusions and lacerations. All are unpleasant.
Symptoms of overuse soft tissue injuries include:
- Impinged range of motion
- Shoulder pain
- Shin splints
- Poor body mechanics and posture
- Plantar fasciitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Dull or throbbing pain
- Popping or snapping sounds from the affected area
Types of Injuries the Graston Technique Can Treat
The Graston Technique has been shown to work well on areas of chronic inflammation, fascial restrictions, fibrosis and scar tissue adhesions. Treatment time is between 30 and 60 seconds per treated area. Other conditions this technique addresses include:
- Cervical sprain or strain
- Golfer’s elbow
- Knee pain
- Lumbar sprain or strain
- Hip flexor strain
- Rotator cuff tendinosis
- Achilles tendonosis
The Graston Technique is never the only treatment you receive at TRI Physical Therapy. It’s used in concert with brief warm-up exercises, stretching and strengthening exercise. Prior to treatment, you’re asked to warm up on a treadmill or exercise bike. Ultrasound or heat is then applied to the affected targeted of your body. After the therapy, the treated area is often iced to reduce inflammation.
You can expect positive results even as a therapy for lower back pain by the third or fourth treatment. Sometimes, it takes more sessions, typically for those with pervasive scar tissue that has built up over time. Begin your Graston Technique treatment as soon after the injury as possible to see results sooner.
What the Graston Technique Does for You
The Graston Technique can be considered a deeper form of manual therapy. Your Brooklyn physical therapist is specially trained to use this technique. The technique locates the knots in your muscles or skin to root out the scar tissue responsible for your pain and movement limitations. Next, your therapist uses the stainless steel tools to break up the scar tissue to restore your function and mobility in the affected area.
This Graston Technique you may even see some slight bruising. If you’re bruised after every session, it means your therapist is using too much force. Treatment typically lasts four to five weeks when you have two treatment sessions each week.
Post-treatment soreness is nothing to be alarmed about as this is normal. In addition to bruising, you may notice petechiae, which are small red dots in the area that was treated. Petechiae are also normal and usually go away on their own. If you’re concerned, ask your physical therapist.
The remedy for soreness post-treatment is applying ice to the area for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce the pain and inflammation. Your physical therapist gives you exercise, strengthening and stretching programs specific to your needs. Which programs you get depend on your limitations. You must do your work after each treatment and in-between appointments.