What is Graston/IASTM

Graston is a tried and tested technique that uses hand-held tools to administer soft tissue procedures that boost circulation, relax tissue muscles, and so much more. 

What Is The Graston Procedure?

The Graston procedure is one of the most popular forms of Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) tools. However, it is different from IASTM because it has a chronological therapy protocol consisting of 7 steps. The therapy protocol consists of the exam, pre-treatment (warm-up), treatment, post-treatment, stretching, strengthening, and ice.  The instruments used to perform the Graston technique are concave or convex. To perform the procedure, the technician will use the concave instrument to apply pressure over a large area to encourage comfort during the procedure.  In contrast, the convex instrument is used for applying pressure over a smaller area to create more discomfort. Nevertheless, the convex instrument allows the physician to concentrate on a specific area of tissue. 

What Is Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization?

In contrast, instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization is a type of manual therapy. It is considered a popular method for treating myofascial restriction.  IASTM uses specific instruments that have a mobilizing impact on scar tissue and myofascial adhesions. The concept of ISTM comes from the Friction Massage Theory. James Cyriax, the Father of Orthopedic Medicine, Friction Massage Therapy, was introduced to the industry in the 1900s.

The Friction Massage Therapy was effective in alleviating negative effects caused by decreased movement during the healing process. Decreased movement while connective tissues are being repaired can cause unhealthy scars to form as well as increased pain and scar stretching.  IASTM is almost like a massage. However, instead of using their hands, the physician uses specialized tools to treat the tissues involved in movement. 

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Graston/ IASTM Garston or IASTM can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Chronic Ankle Sprains
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Medial Epicondylitis, Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Trigger Finger
  • Joint Swelling
  • Post-Surgical and Traumatic Scars
  • Acute Ankle Sprains
  • Surgical and Traumatic Scars
  • Ligament Sprains
  • Musculoskeletal Imbalances
  • IT Band Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
  • Myofascial Pain and Restrictions
  • Neck Pain
  • Non-Acute Bursitis
  • Hip Pain
  • Shin Splints
  • Tibialis Posterior Tendinitis
  • Achilles Tendinitis
  • Muscle Strains
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Patellar Tendinitis
  • Back Pain

What Are The Benefits Of Graston/ IASTM

The benefits of using Graston or IASTM include:

  • Enhanced flexibility of root tissue
  • The disintegration of conjoined collagen 
  • Interrupted pain receptors 
  • Free facial restrictions
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Decreased tissue density
  • The enhanced degree of motion
  • Enhanced restoration of cellular activity
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Graston/IASTM 
  • How Often Should You Get Graston/IASTM?
  • How often to get Graston can differ depending on your physical condition, physicians assessment, and your goals. Typically, Graston treatments occur 1-2 times a week, at least 48 hours apart. 

Are There Situations When Graston/IASTM Shouldn't Be Used?

Yes, there are situations in which Graston should not be used. Most physicians do not use IASTM for patients on blood thinners as it increases the risk of bruising. 

Are There Side Effects Of Graston/IASTM

Light bruising is a common side effect of Graston, but the bruising usually fades away within a few days. Graston can also cause massive bruising, which can take a week or more to fade away. Other symptoms of Graston include mild short-term redness from the inflammatory response and petechiae, which causes tiny blood vessels to burst.

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