Running is one of the most popular types of physical activity in the world. It is estimated that the U.S. participation rate is more than 30 million people (Almeida, M. et al). Despite the fact that running offers participants many health benefits, it does, however, also lead to a higher likelihood of sustaining an injury due to its repetitive nature. Lingering or chronic symptoms are common among musculoskeletal injuries and can limit the way you move and feel while exercising. Some common injuries include: Achilles tendonitis/tendinosis, plantar fasciitis, Patella-femoral pain syndrome, Iliotibial band syndrome, and Quadriceps/Hamstring Strains. Foam rolling and massage sticks have become common tools in your “first aid kit”, but they don’t always fix the problem.
As musculoskeletal experts, physical therapists have a unique treatment technique to address these soft tissue restrictions. Graston® Technique is a non-invasive soft tissue mobilization using specially designed stainless steel instruments that allow trained clinicians to identify and treat areas of restriction. The instruments allow the clinician to break up scar tissue and fascial restrictions, which helps restore normal motion and decrease or eliminate pain. The technique may be uncomfortable for some, while others report no pain/discomfort during the treatment. Bruising may occur, but that is not the intent nor does it need to occur for the treatment to be effective. Typically performed 2x/week over the course of 4-8 weeks, Graston Technique is able to decrease the overall time of treatment for the patient while also lessening the need for anti-inflammatory and pain medications. In most cases, patients begin to see results in the first 1-3 sessions. Paired with the proper exercise program to stretch and strengthen effected tissues, Graston Technique allows you to get back in the game faster.
Reference: Almeida, M. et al. Biomechanical Differences of Foot-Foot Strike Patterns During Running: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. JOSPT. October 2015, Volume 45, Number 10.
By Kelly Spence, PT, MS, CKTP and Ron Goetsch, ATC, PTA. Premier Physical Therapy has Graston certified clinicians at 14 locations. Please visit www.premierortho.com/locations to find a provider near you.