As an additional specialized treatment technique beneficial for a variety of diagnosis, Jeree utilizes IASTM as instructed through the Graston Technque.  Jeree has received formal training and Certification in the Graston Technique® and often utilizes this technique to help diagnose soft tissue areas of adhesions.  Often times when an individual or athlete has an acute injury as it heals scar tissue or adhesions form in the tissues.  If not appropriately addressed with stretching and mobilization and at times instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization larger issues can occur.  Scar tissue or adhesion is most commonly recognized as the fibrous connective tissue that is formed over a damaged area as the body attempts to repair this damaged tissue.  In some cases never truly reorganizes in a proper pattern.  Because of this malformation, scar tissue or adhesions lead to a variety of symptoms such as:

  • Reduced Range of Motion
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Pain
  • Compensation patterns which cause problems in seemingly unrelated areas
  • If a nerve is entrapped it can cause numbness, burning or tingling

The treatment goal and process of the Graston Technique® and IASTM is to first “break up” these adhesions by breaking down the collagen cross-links that have been formed and then to realign them with proper stretching and strengthening.   In addition, IASTM can be used through muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and on a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions such as:

  • Cervical sprain/strain (neck pain)
  • Postural Neck pain
  • Lumbar sprain/strain (back pain)
  • Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
  • Medial Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis (shoulder pain)
  • Post Total knee Swelling and Pain
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Plantarfasciitis
  • Trochanteric Bursitis
  • Scar Tissue

The Graston Technique® and other stainless steel tools utilizing Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Techniques (IASTM)  are used by many healthcare providers, university institutions, companies, collegiate sports teams, and professional sports teams.  This technique allows for improved diagnostic treatment of soft-tissue dysfunction in a shorter period of time.

Treatment:

The first part of the Graston Technique® treatment involves a patient warm-up, in which the patient moves the areas of soft tissue fibrosis. Warm-ups are intended to render the scar tissue more receptive to the treatment with the stainless steel tools and to decrease patient sensitivity to the pressure and friction that are applied to the scar tissue through the skin. A stainless steel tool is chosen based on the body part where the injury occurred. The tools are designed for following the length of muscles or other connective tissues that have been affected by the soft tissue injury. The IASTM is used on a variety of body parts, including the shoulders, wrists, or calves.  The therapist then presses the edge of the tool into the skin and slowly slides it along the surface of the body area being treated. As a tool slides over an adhesion, it feels as if it has come into contact with what proponents call a "speed bump" or a "gravel-like grittiness." Usually therapist and patient can feel a change in the way the tool feels when this scar tissue is encountered. Adhesions are not usually visible on the surface of the skin, and conventional health care providers are not trained to detect these areas. Generally, the pressure is increased as the clinician rubs over the adhesions in order to induce some movement in these areas. Therapists may also use the tools to detect scar tissue buildups that may not be visible on the surface of the skin. Some individuals experience minor discomfort during a IASTM treatment. Some individuals may experience bruising in the treatment area as well. Patients should always attempt to communicate the sensations they experience during a session to the practitioner. The therapist may adjust the rate of rubbing or the amount of pressure applied to the body area. After each treatment, the injured area is stretched and may also be moved through a variety of exercises The therapist may apply cold packs if the patient experiences soreness. Most patients receive two treatments a week for a course of four to five weeks and it is not recommended to do back to back days of treatments. Patients are advised that they can expect to experience relief by the third or fourth treatment.