Graston Impressions

20 Weeks 6 Days Post Op

At my last follow up appointment my surgeon suggested trying a deep massage technique called Graston to determine if some of the discomfort I’ve experienced is related to the scar tissue and any adhesions around the tendon.  My physical therapist was not certified with the Graston technique, so I needed to find a new one.   Fortunately I found a PT clinic that is convenient to both home and work.

Today I had my first appointment with the new PT and my initiation with Graston.  Several people with first hand knowledge gave me fair warning of the pain that can be involved.  I also read that people with red hair and fair skin may find the treatment more painful.  Of course, I have both red hair and fair skin.  But, I was more excited to try something new rather than nervous of the possible pain.

After discussing my long history with this injury and the science of Graston, the PT got to work.  I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t find the technique to be all that painful.  I don’t consider myself to have an unusually high pain threshold, so I’m sure the level of pain is different for everyone.  I believe the PT also mentioned that she would probably start off a bit easy to see how my body reacted to the treatment.  Perhaps the pain will come later??

It is obviously too early to tell if the Graston massage was helpful, but my ankle and calf did feel a bit looser following the treatment.  The PT mentioned that it generally takes about 3-4 sessions to notice if Graston is providing any benefit.  I’m hopeful that I’ll see some improvements by the end of the year.

4 Responses to “Graston Impressions”

  1. I am curious to see if you will benefit from this treatment. I looked it up, it is very interesting.
    I have some stiffness in my ankle, I am not happy about how much I can flex my foot. I am not sure about the reason, but the re-rupture and double immobilization might be to blame.

  2. 2ndtimer - I will post again after I’ve had a few more sessions to let you know if it seems beneficial. From talking with others and researching the internet I didn’t really see any negatives to trying Graston other than the pain. Suffering through a bit of pain now in exchange for the possible healing benefits seems worth it, especially if you can get insurance to cover the cost.

  3. Tom, I thought the title of your entry was funny because I was expecting to see a photo of the impressions left by the graston tools. Not that it’s that bad, but I do remember my pt starting slow and ramping up the pressure. Some days the entire back of my leg was red and purple, but it only lasted a few hours. I never looked like I was beaten with a baseball bat. My graston was covered by insurance, so that was nice. After watching a few times I found a butter knife with a handle that looked very similar to the graston tools and gave it a go. I just couldn’t be as brutal doing it myself.

  4. Jim - That’s funny, I hadn’t thought about the double meaning of the title. No “impressions” left yet, although my ankle is pretty swollen this evening. I have a close friend who is a PT and she recommended the butter knife massage. I tried it a couple of times after my first surgery, but never felt like I could do so in a manner that did any good. Perhaps I too, was not brutal enough on myself.

    It’s good to hear that you’re still getting some strength back and not thinking about the injury as much any more. I can’t wait until the day I don’t think about every step I take. Happy Holidays!!

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