Graston Technique in Portland
The Graston Technique in Portland incorporates a patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively detect and treat scar tissue that occurs from acute or chronic injuries. Your body can produce scar tissue from traumatic injuries (i.e. car accident, work injury) which most people understand but repetitive activities (i.e. running, lifting, typing) and postural strain (i.e. poor posture, prolonged deskwork) can also cause scar tissue formation. Therefore, you can acquire scar tissue from a variety of injuries from whiplash to poor posture.
The Graston Technique in Portland
All soft tissue injury must go through a healing process. Ideally, the repaired tissue will resemble something like the original. The picture below on the left shows the fiber orientation of uninjured soft tissue that is much like the strands of a rope. The middle picture below shows injured soft tissue with obvious tears and gaps. In the picture below on the right you can see that the torn fibers were mended with scar tissue. Scar tissue is like glue. It stiches tissue back together but is weaker and less flexible than the original tissue. It wants to connect to everything in the injured area in these random directions which makes it a weaker type of tissue.
Scar tissue limits your ability to do everyday activities by causing pain and decreasing your range of motion. This prevents you from functioning normally as you did before the injury. When tissue is damaged it tries to heal quickly by creating scarring tissue to mend the injured area. This scar tissue causes restricted range of motion and pain.
The instruments used with Graston Technique are designed to enhance the clinician's ability to detect scar tissue in the injured areas. Skilled clinicians use the stainless steel instruments to comb over an area to identify any scar tissue. If scar tissue is present then the patient and clinician will feel a rough, fibrotic, or gravelly texture as the instrument is rubbed over the affected area. If the tissue is healthy then it should feel smooth not rough. Once the location of the scar tissue has been identified, the instruments are used to break up the scar tissue by repeatedly rubbing the instrument over the area. Once the scar tissue is broken up it enters the bloodstream and is removed by the kidneys and liver.
It is common to experience minor discomfort during and after the procedure. Some bruising afterwards is also common. This is a normal response and part of the healing process. The application of ice and kinesio tape after the treatment can significantly decrease any potential discomfort. Patients usually receive one to two treatments per week over 4-6 week period. Most patients begin to notice a positive response by the 3rd to 4th treatment.
The concept of cross fiber friction massage is not new. Graston Technique is grounded in the works of English orthopedist James Cyriax and a similar therapy called GuaSha which has been used for thousands of years in China. The use of our specially designed instruments and protocol is new. Graston Technique has become standard protocol in universities and hospital-based outpatient facilities. The technique is also being used by NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball trainers. Historically, the Graston Technique has resolved 87% or more of all soft tissue conditions treated. It is equally effective on restoring function to acute and chronic injuries, and pre and post surgical patients. Only clinicians who have been trained and accredited in the Graston Technique course are qualified to obtain the Graston Technique instruments and apply the technique to treat patients.