New physical therapy instruments at CMH for soft tissue injuries

Physical Therapists at CMH have a new set of tools to help improve treatment of soft tissue injuries. The Graston Technique involves a set of stainless steel instruments in varying sizes that are combed over the painful area until the adhesions that are causing the pain are broken down and absorbed into the body.

Recently, Physical Therapists Allen Keller and Samantha LeMay, as well as Physical Therapy Assistants Shannon  Ping and Deborah Georges attended a training session in the Twin Cities on the Graston Technique and have started using this new treatment.

The first step in the process is to lubricate the skin in the affected area and then warm it with either exercise, ultrasound, laser or a combination of the three. Once the therapist feels the tissue is adequately warmed, the therapist begins combing the skin with the instrument to locate the scar tissue causing the pain and dysfunction. Therapists say scar tissue actually has a different feel and causes the instrument to vibrate. The tool is moved back and forth over the site from different angles with a depth and pressure that breaks down the scar tissue and allows it to be absorbed into the body.

Anybody with a soft tissue dysfunction is a candidate for this treatment, like Diana Sutter, who has struggled with a shredded Achilles tendon for the past several months and has tried a variety of treatments including; rest and staying off her foot, wearing a special boot and even a cast. She said after her first treatment with this new technique, she could feel improvement.

The CMH equipment was purchased for the Physical Therapy Department by funds from the Community Memorial Hospital Foundation.