Soft tissue injuries, like sprains, strains and ligament tears, are common occurrences in sporting events as well as everyday life. While these injuries are generally relatively easy to treat, in some cases they can leave lasting effects.
“Soft tissue injuries can result in scar tissue later on in life,” says chiropractor Paul Duffy, MD. “Scar tissue can be painful and limit your range of motion and flexibility so it’s important that it be treated properly.”
Though Dr. Duffy treats a range of conditions, he specializes in soft tissue injuries so he deals frequently with patients who have issues related to scar tissue. Over the years he has used multiple methods to treat scar tissue, but has found the Graston Technique to work best.
The Graston Technique was actually developed by an athlete who was frustrated by his lengthy recovery following knee surgery. The technique uses a specially designed set of six steel metal instruments to help locate and break down scar tissue that forms as a result of an acute injury or surgery. Once the scar tissue is broken down, it is absorbed back into the body.
The instruments are designed to fit the multiple contours of your body. During the procedure, Dr. Duffy uses the instruments to massage the affected area. The tools allow him to more accurately feel things that he would be unable to by just massaging with his fingers. Some have likened the Graston tools to a stethoscope, which physicians use to amplify the human heart. The Graston tools significantly increase what a physician’s hands can feel.
The technique is generally done in conjunction with physical therapy over the course of four to five weeks. Dr. Duffy credits the technique with speeding up recovery time and eliminating the need for anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases it can even help with resolving a chronic conditions.
One misnomer many people have is that the treatment is painful. “I would not consider the Graston Technique to be painful. There is certainly an art form and finesse to doing it, which helps to make it more comfortable,” he says.
While the Graston technique can be used in a variety of situations, Dr. Duffy claims that many of his patients are athletes. “A lot of the patients that I use the Graston Technique on are runners or other athletes with conditions like plantar faciitis or Achilles tendonitis,” says Dr. Duffy.
However, according to Dr. Duffy, athletes aren’t the only ones who can benefit from The Graston Technique. “The Graston Technique is great for employees who want to get back to work and busy moms who need to be able to keep up with their kids,” he claims.