Injuries to the soft tissue can occur due to sprains & strains, repetitive movement disorders and blunt force trauma. Sprains and strains occur when the ligaments of a joint or the muscles associated with the joint are torn or stretched beyond their normal mechanical limits. Repetitive movement disorders or cumulative trauma disorders develops when a minute injury occurs repeatedly from overuse or misappropriate use of a body part during the repetitive performance of a limited number of physical movements. This can occur with incorrect computer ergonomics on a keyboard or with the repetitive stress of playing an instrument among other things. Blunt force trauma refers to a type of physical trauma caused to a body part by impact, such as being hit by a pitch, and often results in bruising.
Soft tissue will repair itself after injury using the same method as when the skin heals from a cut. The tissue repairs itself in a haphazard pattern, forming scar tissue, but the repair is not equivalent to whatever tissue it replaces. Because scar tissue is a replacement tissue, it is of inferior functional quality and therefore it is not as strong or flexible as normal, healthy and undamaged tissue. This scar tissue can restrict movement in muscle, fascia and even skin by binding these separate anatomical structures together in an adhesion or restriction. The skin, muscle and fascia can essentially be “glued” together. These adhesions can cause tight knots in muscle, known as trigger points, which can lead to pain and dysfunction of the joints. This joint and muscular dysfunction can lead to more adhesions, which can cause a cycle of pain that must be broken.
Imagine two pieces of paper laying on each other sliding back and forth with very little resistance. Now imagine that these two pieces of paper are crumpled up and when the paper tries to slide back and forth, the creases and folds catch on each other and restrict the amount of movement. This is comparable to what happens to muscle, fascia and skin in the presence of an adhesion or restriction.
There are many techniques that address the removal of myofascial restrictions, including deep tissue massage, rolfing and myofascial release, but they are limited by the practitioner or the technique itself. Only Graston Technique can be easily used to both detect and release scar tissue, adhesions and fascial restrictions. Proper management of the adhesion also requires that the patient be taught appropriate stretches and rehabilitative exercises after a comprehensive evaluation of their condition. Graston Technique allows the patient to achieve quicker, improved outcomes compared to these other techniques and does so with less treatment time as well. Graston Technique allows Dr. Royer to provide his patients enhanced care by an improved ability to locate soft tissue adhesions with more precision, especially around bony prominences, and at greater depth. Graston Technique along with a proper stretching and strengthening program causes a reorganization of the fibers in the haphazard scar tissue into ordered fibers that are parallel with the intended movement. This restores normal function of the muscles and joint and allows for faster improvement.
Dr. Bryan D. Royer is the only clinician in the Toledo, OH area to incorporate Graston Technique and the Kinesio Taping Method in his practice. The combination of these two techniques can be instrumental in returning an athlete to play or allowing one to wash their hair in the morning.
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