We have recently added a new technique called the Graston Technique® to the health care services we offer our patients. This remarkable procedure allows us to detect and treat areas of “scar tissue” or adhesions in muscles, tendons and ligaments that can lead to pain and dysfuncon.
In the healing process our body attempts to repair muscles, tendons and ligaments with “scar tissue”, much like the scar that forms on the skin when you have scraped or banged your knee. As you can imagine, that scar tissue is not as strong and flexible as normal, healthy, undamaged tissue. Over time we can have a build up of this fibrous scar tissue, particularly in the muscles, tendons and ligaments that get a lot of use. This can lead to pain and dysfunction because this replacement tissue lacks the strength and flexibility of healthy tissue (in some areas it may even mat down and entrap a nerve).
The Graston Technique® allows us to better detect and treat these areas because it uses a stainless steel instrument that glides along a patient’s muscle, tendons or ligaments and acts like a “scar tissue” stethoscope. When knots or bands of scar tissue are encountered, both the doctor and the patient sense a restriction or a granular feeling. The instrument can then be used to “break up” this restriction or adhesion. Stretching exercises are then used to promote re-alignment of the fibers so that they behave more like normal, healthy tissue.
The benefit of the Graston Technique® is not only in detection of restrictions or adhesions, but also in the amount of improvement that takes place in a short amount of time. Unfortunately, the unaided hand is hard pressed to detect and break up as much scar tissue as the stainless steel instruments can.
When the Graston Technique® is coupled with the necessary strengthening and stretching exercises, it provides a great aid to the chiropractic adjustment and the patient gets better much quicker and more completely.
The Graston Technique® is not appropriate for every patient condition. It is, however, very helpful for people with the most common conditions we treat in this office. If you have not experienced the Graston Technique® and you still have lingering discomfort or stiffness, please ask us whether you may be helped by this effective new treatment.