The goal of soft tissue mobilization is to loosen and prepare the injured muscles and fascia for other treatments. The Graston Technique is an innovative treatment method used to break down scar tissue, fascia restrictions, and adhesions.
To get a better understanding of the benefits of the Graston Technique and soft tissue mobilization, it’s important to first understand what scar tissue and soft tissue are and how they work.
Understanding Scar Tissue and Soft Tissue
Soft tissues are your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Fascia are the connective tissues that surround, connect, or support your muscles, organs, bones, blood vessels, and nerves. When you’re participating in a lot of activity, your soft tissues can be compromised and face a lot of painful stress. For example, they can become tight and out of alignment due to tension, postural imbalances, injuries, or following a surgery.
Some forms of soft tissue injury include sprains, strains, contusions, tendonitis, bursitis, and stress injuries.
Scarring is the scar tissue left in or around a site after any injury or surgical procedure. Scar tissue can also form from repetitive rolling of the ankle or hyperextension of the knee because it can damage the muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
Scar tissue is a tough material that replaces damaged fibrous connective tissue. This new scar tissue is not as functional as the tissue that used to exist. It produces visual scars left behind by cuts or puncture wounds when it forms on the skin, and it can also form internally within muscle tissue, tendons, ligaments, or internal organs.
Soft Tissue Mobilization
Typically, if you’re dealing with a soft tissue injury, your doctor will first attempt manual soft tissue mobilization. Manual therapy can relax tense muscles, reduce scar tissue, and stretch and lengthen the fascia.
A physician or therapist will apply gentle or high-intensity pressure to stretch the affected tissue. They will also choose from a variety of therapeutic techniques which can include deep tissue therapy and corrective massage. These approaches improve range of motion, facilitate healing, and provide pain relief. After completing this type of therapy, most patients feel better and perform better during sports and other activities.
If these massage techniques haven’t been yielding the expected results, your physician may recommend utilizing the Graston Technique which is slightly more involved and can produce greater results.
The technique employs specially-designed stainless steel instruments. Your physician will glide the instrument over the treatment area to detect and effectively treat soft tissue fibrosis, chronic inflammation, and tightness. This method is typically performed twice a week with immediate results.
Some of the more common conditions treated with this approach include, but are not limited to, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, chronic neck pain, surgical scarring, Achilles tendonitis, sprains, and strains.
If you think that you’re in need of soft tissue mobilization, or if you believe the Graston Technique may work for you, click here to schedule a consultation with Aligned Medical Group.