It happens, especially this time of year. Sun is shining, birds are singing, and you are really energized. You spend your time doing yard work, or cleaning out the garage, or picking up a quick game of softball or soccer with the kids. After the long winters nap, your muscles are typically not ready for all the extra activity. Thank goodness for the Graston Technique®, an innovative method for treating overused muscles and soft tissue that speeds up recovery time.
The Graston Technique is a patented form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. The technique uses specially designed instruments to detect and treat areas with chronic inflammation, scar tissue and fascial restrictions.
The technique was originally developed by athletes and is effective in treating chronically tight or sore spots. There are many conditions that are resolved quickly by using Graston, primarily because they all have one thing in common – overused muscles or repetitive stress. These include:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shin splints
- Shoulder pain
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Knee problems
- Tennis elbow
When you strain your muscles and soft tissue they are impacted in three ways:
- Acute conditions, such as pulls, tears, collisions.
- Accumulation of small tears or micro-trauma.
- Not getting enough oxygen, known as hypoxia.
Any of these factors causes your body to produce dense scar tissue in the affected area. Scar tissue binds up, tying down underlying tissues that long to move freely. Scar tissue build-up also causes muscles to become shorter and weaker, creating tension on tendons (which can lead to tendinosis) and often trapping nerves. All this can lead to reduced range of motion, loss of strength and pain.
Is Graston Effective?
One of the benefits of the Graston Technique is each treatment is customized to the individual. Every session is a combination of examination and treatment using tools and techniques to evaluate the texture, tightness and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments and nerves. The technique is proven to reduce overall treatment time, reduce the need for anti-inflammatory medication and resolve chronic conditions often thought to be permanent.
Treating Overused Muscles
For a recent injury or strain, there are some steps to take immediately:
- Take your weight off the injury to rest the affected muscle area. For leg muscle strains, elevate the leg to reduce inflammation.
- Apply an ice pack. Remember not to leave it on for too long or you may run the risk of increased damage to the tissue.
- Increase protein intake to help support muscle healing.
Strained muscles are very common, but when left untreated can generate scar tissue. For prolonged overuse, it is prudent to seek the advice of a professional to diagnose the issue. Fortunately, we have the Graston Technique for treating overused muscles and soft tissue strains, giving you other treatment options to consider.