Graston (Torture) Technique

Ryan | Thursday, January 20th, 2011 6 Comments

See these instruments?

Do they kind of remind you of these instruments?

Yeah, me too.  That’s what I thought this morning before work when I first saw Dr. Ben pull a device out that resembled a butter knife and told me, “this is going to hurt a little bit.”

At least in surgery you get an anesthetic.

The device Dr. Ben used is called a Graston tool, one of six that encompass the Graston Technique, which helps alleviate adhesion in soft tissue muscle.  From what Dr. Ben explained, an adhesion occurs when soft tissue or fascia crosses over onto itself or becomes knotty.  It should be smooth and run parallel to muscle.

One of the by-products of the Graston Technique is bruising of the affected area on your body.  It’s done on purpose to help restore blood flow and dissolve bad tissue.  Dr. Ben told me to expect a fairly heavy amount of bruising over the next two days.  I’m starting to bruise tonight, 10 hours later.  Let’s see what happens when I wake up.

The pain is manageable.  It feels like a sharper version of a rolling pin moving across your affected area, though the Graston tool generates a hot sensation on your skin from the friction (though gel is applied first).  If you’ve had a lot of massage work done, the pain is similar to a deep tissue massage.  On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being screaming in pain from a brutal massage, my first Graston session was a 6.  Not comfortable, not pleasant, but I’ve faced much worse.

The reward?  A lunge stretch with Dr. Ben immediately following the treatment and feeling no pain in my hip area at all.

Was that because of numbness?  Maybe.  Did I care?  Not at all.

In fact, I rewarded myself with breakfast across the street.   It’s not unlike being a little kid when after scraping myself I’d beg for chocolate ice cream as a “reward” for my bravery having alcohol rubbed on the wound.

I’ll post pictures of my bruise tomorrow if it gets nasty.

And now, bed time.

152 days and counting.

The four major food groups: Pancakes, bananas, strawberries, and syrup.

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  1. Brennan says:

    It hurts but it works… I had to do this about every two weeks my Junior year during college ball but it allowed me to keep throwing…

  2. Ryan says:

    Bruising nor post-pain has been bad. Far easier than I anticipated. What kind of college ball, baseball? Where did you play? Assuming you were a pitcher?

  3. Brennan says:

    O man the bruising for me would happen right away, I would leave there looking like I got robbed and beat for money!

    Baseball, I played 1st actually… The constant long toss and everything just got to me… Really bad bicep tendonitis…

    I played at a small d3 school in St. Paul, MN.. Hamline University…

  4. Ryan says:

    Today was more painful than last time. Lots more purple than before. Just need some yellowing so I can have my own faux Lakers tattoo.

  5. [...] us, ala Livestrong?  Does it come from within?  I wondered that today as I was enduring a painful Graston Technique in my ART session where a cold, blunt metal device that resembled a boomerang was being thrust back [...]

  6. Brennan says:

    I do think that means that it is working. It’s like a massage, the second time is sometimes more painful because everything is finally loose. I had really forgotten about Graston until you brought it up, something to always keep in mind when injured because it for sure works!

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