Graston Technique

Your Guide to the Graston Technique in Broomfield & Westminster, CO

Lifetime Health and Wellness is a cutting-edge clinic for chiropractic treatments and techniques. Our locations in Westminster and Broomfield host a number of services that extend your healing a step further. Of all the chiropractic services we offer, none is more progressive than the Graston technique. 

The Graston technique is a patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization used to break down scar tissue. It is a non-surgical technique to benefit the connective tissues present throughout the body, including bones, organs, muscles, nerves, and surrounding blood vessels. As a form of manual treatment, the Graston technique gently massages and scrapes the skin to break up whatever scar tissue is limiting your mobility, thereby promoting extensive healing. 

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The goals of Graston

For chiropractic techniques at Lifetime Health and Wellness, our team performs the Graston technique to further help recovery from sports injuries, or when chiropractic care needs essential scar tissue to break down more completely in an effort to eliminate inflammation. 

The general goals of Graston are to reduce pain and increase function, which includes:

  • Promoting a more beneficial healing environment for the injured soft tissue to restore and renew.
  • Breaking down the fascia (muscles, nerves, organs, bones) restrictions that are associated with a form of trauma to soft tissue, such as a strained ligament or tendon.
  • Stretching connective tissues in an effort to rearrange the restricted areas of the structure undergoing treatment.

Alongside the Graston technique used by our skilled therapists, we've also noticed a sincere psychological benefit that accompanies the treatment. Similar to the relaxation felt during massage or physical therapy, there's a neurological response when the Graston technique is manually applied to the soft tissues. Patients respond with a sense of positive well-being and an overall healthy outlook towards their injury or pain site. 

What does the Graston technique treat?

Thus far, we've identified how the Graston technique works for the body. Let's now take an in-depth look at what specifically this manual approach treats. 

  1. Stops joint pain
  2. Relieves muscle stiffness
  3. Slows down the symptoms of fibromyalgia
  4. Tennis elbow
  5. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  6. Numbness and tingling of the extremities associated with sciatic pain
  7. Golfer's pain syndrome - elbow, lower back, hips, shoulders
  8. Plantar fasciitis - pain in the arch of the foot

We recommend a number of sessions at our Westminster and Broomfield clinics, including one to two treatments per week over a span of four to five weeks. This allows enough time for the Graston technique to help heal the inflammation and injury site.

Chiropractic Techniques at Lifetime Health and Wellness

Our experts want to help you return to your activities. Call us today at 303-423-4610 to schedule your appointment. 

 

Theory/Evidence

foot-graston_1.jpgInjuries that may result in adhesions include pulled hamstrings, meniscal tears, plantar fasciitis, tight hip flexors, metatarsal phalangeal joint sprain (turf toe), shin splints, hip pain, IT band syndrome, shoulder pain, and a lack of flexibility or decreased stride length.

Individuals who have not suffered a major injury but who experience some form of tightness in muscles, ligaments, and fascia are believed by proponents to also potentially benefit from the Graston Technique®.

When a person is injured, scar tissue and adhesions may occur in the skin and the layers of tissue immediately below the skin. Adhesions and scar tissue are thought to prevent body structures underneath them from moving properly, and as a result, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and surrounding tissues (such as fascia) may be unable to move freely.

After an injury, a person may describe an area of physical trauma as tight or painful. Some individuals are unable to move the injured area of the body as well as they once could. The abnormal binding of scar tissue is considered by Graston Technique® practitioners as the cause of these symptoms.

Scar tissue and adhesions are thought to be problematic because they bind to fascia. If fascia is involved in an injury, then the nearby tissues or organs may be abnormally held in place, or their movement may be restricted, a condition called a fascial restriction.

Adhesions may also occur on a much smaller scale than an entire muscle or tendon. For instance, the tiny microfilaments that make up part of a muscle may have microscopic adhesions, as a result of the cross-linking of muscle fibers that may prevent the muscle from contracting properly. Muscles may also develop adhesions to one another.

Advocates claim that over time, due to the wear and tear of everyday life, performing physical labor or as a result of athletic activity healthy muscle fibers may adhere together in an irregular pattern, which results in rope-like structures. Graston Technique® tools are believed to move the adhered fibers and allow them to begin to separate. This process of muscle fiber separation is thought to release the pain and loss of functional mobility associated with adhesions.

Advocates claim that the Graston Technique® may perform several important functions to restore functionality in the area of an injury. The rubbing of the Graston Technique® instrument over the affected area of soft tissue may stretch, separate, and break down the large number of collagen cross-links which form after a soft tissue injury. The friction of the instrument over the skin may also increase the temperature in the area and the volume and rate of blood flow to the affected tissues. Proponents also believe that a Graston Technique® therapy session may boost the cellular activity in the region and encourage the presence of some types of immune system cells, such as fibroblasts, which help to synthesize new cellular matrix, and mast cells, which help to minimize inflammation.

Safety

Some patients may experience a minor amount of discomfort during Graston Technique® treatment.
Bruising at the area of the Graston Technique® treatment may occur.

Schedule an appointment with one of our 4 chiropractors today!

Bibliography

Aspegren D, Hyde T, Miller M. Conservative treatment of a female collegiate volleyball player with costochondritis. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007 May;30(4):321-5. View Abstract Graston Technique. www.grastontechnique.com. Last assessed August 24, 2007. Hammer WI, Pfefer MT. Treatment of a case of subacute lumbar compartment syndrome using the Graston technique. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005 Mar-Apr;28(3):199-204. View Abstract Howitt S, Wong J, Zabukovec S. The conservative treatment of Trigger Thumb using Graston Techniques and Active Release Techniques(R). JCCA J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2006 Dec;50(4):249-54. View Abstract U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). www.cdc.gov. Last assessed August 24, 2007.

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