Graston Technique or Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)
The Graston Technique® (GT), also known as Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), is a therapeutic technique that utilizes instruments to enhance the clinician's ability to detect fascial adhesions (scar tissue) and restrictions in muscles, fascia, tendons and ligamnets. It has been clinically proven to help achieve quicker and better outcomes in treating both acute and chronic conditions, including:
Cervical Sprain/Strain (Neck Pain) Lumbar Sprain/Strain (Back Pain)
Plantar Fasciitis (Foot/Heel Pain) Carpal Tunel Syndrome (Wrist Pain and/or Numbness)
Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) Medial Epicondylitis (Golfer's Elbow)
Rotator Cuff Tendinosis (Shoulder Pain) Patellofemoral Disorders (Knee Pain)
Achilles Tendinosis (Ankle Pain) Fibromyalgia
Scar Tissue Trigger Finger
Shin Spints Running and Sports Related Injuries
When a person is injured, the body lays down fibrous scar tissue in order to protect the injured area. Scar tissue adhesions can occur from microtrauma, like repetitive motion injuries such as work related movements, swimming, tennis or golf swings, or from macrotrauma, such as a torn muscle or blunt trauma from falling or auto accident, or in contact sports such as football and lacrosse. The scar tissue limits the range of motion, and in many instances causes pain, which prevents the person from functioning as he or she did before the injury.
When viewed under a microscope, tendons and ligaments have dense, elongated fibers running in the same direction. When the soft tissue is damaged, it can heal in a haphazard pattern, resulting in restricted range of motion, scarring and pain. The scar tissue explains why many injuries feel “different” even after weeks or months of apparent healing.
The Graston Technique is a soft-tissue therapy that incorporates the ancient Chinese therapy of Gua Sha, cross-friction massage, and modern technology into a soft-tissue treatment that has been getting world-renowned attention. The stainless steel instruments have been utilized by more than 50 major professional and amateur sports organizations. Trainers, physical therapist, chiropractors and clinicians at these organizations are treating elite athletes every day and counting on the IASTM to get them injury free, allowing decreased healing times, getting them back to competing at the highest performance levels.
The Graston Technique’s instruments are used to enhance the clinician’s ability to detect scar tissue, adhesions and soft tissue restrictions in the affected areas. Skilled chiropractors and therapists, like Dr. Phil Afghani and Dr. Yahaira Roman of Atlantic Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Port Orange, FL, use the stainless steel instruments to comb over and “catch” fibrotic tissue, which immediately identifies the areas of restriction. Once the tissue has been identified, the instruments are used to break up the fibrotic scar tissue so that it can be absorbed by the body. Patients usually receive 2-3 treatments per week over 4-5 weeks; however, most patients have a positive response by the 3rd or 4th treatment.
A recent study found that the Graston Technique resolved 87% of all soft tissue conditions treated. It is equally effective in relieving pain and restoring function to acute and chronic injuries as well as assisting in post-surgical recovery. Graston has had amazing results with conditions as diverse as tennis elbow and sprain/strains to plantar fasciitis and neck and back pain. For more information, contact Dr. Phil Afghani of Atlantic Chiropractic and Wellness Center at (386) 492-4881.
Here is a video demonstrating how IASTM works!