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What Is The Graston Technique? Does It Work?

The Graston Technique is an innovative, patented method to break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions via instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). What does that mean? The Graston Technique uses specially designed stainless steel therapy instruments to massage and manipulate areas of injury to promote healing. This therapy was originally designed by athletes and is changing the way clinicians like athletic trainers, physical therapists, and chiropractors are treating a variety of acute and chronic soft tissue injuries. But does it work? And how?

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What Is The Graston Technique?

The Graston Technique employs six unique therapy instruments and a specific protocol. The Graston Protocol includes a cardiovascular warm up to increase blood flow to the tissues of the injured area followed by Graston massage therapy, stretching, strengthening, and a cold therapy treatment. The massage portion is a series of strokes and pressure using the Graston tools to identify adhesions, scar tissue, or restrictions in the affected area and manipulate the area to break up the scar tissue for easy absorption by the body. The post massage stretching is meant to repair movement impairments and the cold therapy will reduce swelling in the injured area.

What Conditions Can The Graston Technique Treat?

The Graston Technique can be used to treat a variety of acute and chronic soft tissue conditions including:

  • Back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Wrist and hand pain such as trigger finger, injury, or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Foot, heel, and ankle pain
  • Tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Scar tissue
  • Hamstring injuries, hip pain, and knee pain

Does It Work?

The Graston Technique aims to detect soft tissue restrictions to pinpoint areas for treatment. Using the Graston instruments, the clinician is able to break up adhesions, restrictions, and scar tissue by imposing controlled microtrauma to the injured area. This triggers an inflammatory response that promotes healing. By stimulating the body’s natural healing response and promoting this healing, range of motion, flexibility, muscle recruitment are increased and pain is mitigated. 

Does Graston Therapy Hurt?

Patients seeking relief with The Graston Technique are usually living with pain, discomfort, and inflammation from an acute injury or a chronic condition. It is common for patients to experience some minor discomfort as the injured areas are treated. Minor swelling and bruising are also common post treatment. This is completely normal and part of the expected healing process.

Find Relief With The Graston Technique At Shephard Health

The Graston Technique is an effective and innovative way to treat a variety of soft tissue injuries. Only licensed practitioners of this technique are authorized to purchase and use the Graston instruments and perform the Graston Protocol. The Graston Technique is an evidence-based therapy with proven effectiveness at diminishing pain and restoring movement to areas of soft tissue injury.

Dr. Jay Shephard is a trained and licensed practitioner of the Graston Technique and uses it as part of a comprehensive strategy for treating patients with chronic and acute soft tissue impairments. As one of Calgary’s Top 3 Rated Chiropractors of 2021, Dr. Shepherd uses a variety of treatment modalities to help patients find relief from pain, restore movement and mobility, and achieve overall health and wellness. The Shephard Health team has over 20 years of experience in services ranging from chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation to Active Release Therapy and Biomechanical Analysis. We are committed to providing personalized treatment solutions to our patients with thoughtful care and experienced competence. We offer a no-obligation, complimentary consultation to assure you that we are the right team to help you achieve your goals for wellness and pain-free living. Call us at 1-403-543-7499 or fill out the form to book your appointment.

FAQ

Q: How many Graston Technique treatments will I need?
A: Every patient's journey to wellness is unique and our chiropractors will determine an ideal treatment strategy for you. In general, patients will receive 2 treatments per week over 4-5 weeks. Most patients report a positive response to treatment by their third or fourth session.

Q: Is bruising normal after a treatment with the Graston Technique?
A: Minor bruising can occur after a Graston treatment. This is normal and part of the healing process.

Q: Is Graston technique covered by my insurance?
A:  Shepherd Health does offer direct billing to most extended health plans. Graston Technique may be covered by extended insurance available through some policies. We recommend contacting your extended insurance company to confirm the details of your policy. Please note that we do not bill secondary insurance companies on your behalf, but we would be happy to assist you with your individual insurance forms. 

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