How the Graston Technique Can Help CrossFitters

What is the Graston Technique?
The Graston Technique incorporates instrument-assisted, soft tissue mobilization that enables physical therapists to effectively separate and break down scar tissue in the body. It also splays and stretches connective tissues and muscle fibers. The licensed physical therapist uses an array of stainless steel instruments to identify adhesions and restrictions, and subsequently utilizes these instruments to break up the scar tissue so that the body can absorb it. 320px-GrastonTechnique_shoulder-treat

The Graston Technique process also stimulates a local inflammatory response in the soft tissue or joint, which leads to remodeling and repair of the affected soft tissue structures, thus increasing range of motion, mobility and reduction of pain.

How does Graston affect CrossFitters?
Overuse injuries lead to scar tissue and adhesions in the muscles. This alters muscle function by keeping them artificially short. A muscle that may be 10 inches long eventually develops so much scar tissue that it’s forced to operate at shorter length. This shortening of the muscle decreases range of motion and can alter an athlete’s ability to effectively complete movements to the full their full extent. In addition, scar tissue build-up can possibly entrap nerves, causing pain and numbness, and disable an athlete from performing completely.

Why Graston?
Self-manipulation treatment with a lacrosse ball and foam rolling can help an athlete mash muscle tissue and break down some minor scar tissue. However, for CrossFitters training several times per week, it becomes difficult to address all the areas demanding attention. Over time, unaddressed scar tissue builds up in the body and requires additional care.

After multiple Graston treatments, a CrossFit athlete will experience increased muscle mobility and blood flow to the affected area, thus reducing pain and inflammation and fostering performance. The therapists at the Spine and Sports Injury Center at Reebok CrossFit Back Bay assess and treat CrossFitters of all levels.

Dr. Richard Green is the founder of Spine And Sports Injury Center at Reebok CrossFit Back Bay. For more information visit www.spineandsports.org.