Graston Technique is an excellent tool for managing scar tissue
What is the Graston Technique®?
The Graston Technique® incorporates a patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively detect and treat scar tissue and restrictions that affect normal function. Alberta Institute for Spine and Sport Therapy's chiropractors often use this technique as part of their treatment plan in conjunction with other soft tissue treatments. The Graston Technique helps to:
- Separates and breaks down collagen cross-links, and splays and stretches connective tissue and muscle fibers
- Increases skin temperature
- Facilitates reflex changes in the chronic muscle holding pattern
- Alters spinal reflux activity (facilitated segment)
- Increases the rate and amount of blood flow to and from the area
- Increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts and mast cells
- Increases histamine response secondary to mast cell activity
Why is scar tissue a problem?
Scar tissue limits range of motion, and in many instances causes pain, which prevents the patient from functioning as he or she did before the injury.
How is scar tissue different from other tissue?
When viewed under a microscope, normal tissue can take a couple of different fashions: dense, regular elongated fibers running in the same direction, such as tendons and ligaments; or dense, irregular and loose with fibers running in multiple directions. In either instance, when tissue is damaged it will heal in a haphazard pattern--or scarring--that results in a restricted range of motion and, very often, pain.
How are the instruments used?
The Graston Technique® instruments are used to enhance the clinician's ability to detect adhesions, scar tissue or restrictions in the affected areas. Skilled clinicians use the stainless steel instruments to comb over and "catch" on fibrotic tissue, which immediately identifies the areas of restriction. Once the tissue has been identified, the instruments are used to break up the scar tissue so it can be absorbed by the body.
There are 6 core tools used in Graston Technique. These tools are made of stainless steel and are concave and convex-shaped. They have rounded edges and are not sharp. The instruments are used to scan over and detect areas of injured fibrotic tissue.
The process is designed to both identify the injured areas and provide needed treatment to them.