What Are The Metal Tools Physical Therapists Use?

You may notice your Physical Therapist using different stainless steel tools for soft tissue release while working on your range of motion or mobility. These are the tools used for Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM). One of the techniques used in IASTM is the Graston Technique.

The Graston Technique is an effective way of releasing soft tissue tightness. Uniquely designed instruments have specific edges and angles to deliver efficient force when rubbing the muscles. There are six different instruments of various sizes and shapes used in the Graston Technique. Each tool is shaped for ease of application on different contours for varied body parts.

These tools are used to assess and treat soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions like what may occur in tendinitis, neck and back strains, plantar fasciitis, IT band syndromes or with postoperative scarring. Physical therapists using these tools are trained in various techniques called sweeping, strumming, swiveling, brushing, fanning, scooping, framing and J stroking.

These instruments can be used for both acute and chronic conditions. It is a myth that use of this instruments can cause excessive redness and bruising. They are not designed to be very painful or cause excessive bruising. However, there can be some discomfort or bruising as with any form of manual therapy depending on patients condition. The amount of force delivered can be adjusted by your therapist depending on patient requirement.

When used with appropriate exercises and other manual therapy, these instruments can be very successful in treating pain and mobility. These instruments are used only by a therapist who is trained or certified in Graston Technique.

By: Devanshi Modi, PT, Cert. MDT.

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