ART and Graston Technique

Graston Technique

This design allows for ease of treatment, maximum tissue penetration in a gentle manner, and minimal stress to the clinician’s hands. The Graston Technique® Instruments, much like a tuning fork, resonate in the clinician’s hands allowing the clinician to isolate adhesions and restrictions and treat them very precisely. Since the metal surface of the instruments does not compress like the fat pads of the finger, deeper restrictions can be accessed and treated. When explaining the properties of the instruments, we often use the analogy of a stethoscope. Just as a stethoscope amplifies what the human ear can hear, so do the instruments increase significantly what the human hands can feel.

“Graston Technique® is an advanced form of myofascial release. Soft-tissue dysfunction, which includes scar tissue, adhesions and restrictions those, results in pain, thus causing functional limitation for the patient. . The resultant scar tissue caused unresolvable range of motion limitations and strength deficits preventing full rehabilitation. Graston Technique® uses patented stainless steel instruments, which are contoured to complement the body’s shapes and curves. This form of treatment used to “break up” or “soften” scar tissue, thus allowing for the return of normal function in the area being treated. It is a variation of traditional cross fiber (transverse) friction massage.

ART
ACTIVE RELEASE TECHNIQUES®

Active Release Techniques® is a new and highly successful hands-on approach to injuries of muscles, tendons, fascia, nerves and the surrounding soft tissues.” “It is similar to some massage techniques, only it’s more aggressive. ‘The art of it all is being able to know where to look for adhesions, how to feel for them and how to use active motion of the body part to break them up,’ says inventor Mike Leahy, D.C.”

The technique is extremely effective on injuries like muscle strains, rotator cuff tendinitis, tennis elbow, achilles tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.

When a muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn (strained or sprained) or nerve is damaged, healing occurs in three stages called the inflammatory response: acute inflammation, repair and remodeling. In acute inflammation, redness, swelling, heat and pain occur. This phase lasts approximately 72 hours. After the inflammation recedes, repair begins. The damaged tissues heal with adhesions or scar tissue formation rather than the formation of brand new tissue.

Scar tissue is weaker, less elastic, less pliable and more pain sensitive than healthy tissue. These adhesions disrupt the normal muscle function, which in turn affects the biomechanics of the joint complex, and can lead to pain and dysfunction. This makes prompt and proper treatment essential for healing and rehabilitation.

Active Release Techniques® is applied by hand using a very specific pressure and tension on the muscle involved while moving the muscle underneath the contact (thumb or fingers of doctor’s hand). “The affected tissue is trapped while the body part is moved, taking the tissue from its shortened to elongated position. Relative motion between tissues is introduced in order to restore gliding between those tissues” (Leah). This method softens and stretches the scar tissue, resulting in increased range of motion, increased strength, and improved circulation which optimizes healing.

The treatments are combined with proper stretching and strengthening of the involved tissues. Proper body posture and ergonomic instruction are also imperative for optimal results.
Leahy, Michael. Improved Treatments for Carpal Tunnel and Related Syndromes. Chiropractic Sports Medicine 9(1):6-9, 1995


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