Gras­ton Tech­nique

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Dr. John R. Mishock, PT, DPT, DC

Gras­ton Tech­nique, or in­stru­ment as­sisted soft tis­sue mo­bi­liza­tion (IASTM), is a tech­nique pro­vided by Mishock Phys­i­cal Ther­apy & As­so­ci­ates to help re­lieve pain, en­hance soft tis­sue heal­ing and im­prove pa­tient func­tion.

Fol­low­ing over-use or trau­matic in­jury of soft tis­sues (mus­cle, ten­don and lig­a­ment), our body at­tempts to re­pair the dam­aged tis­sue by cre­at­ing ad­he­sions and scar for­ma­tion, much like what hap­pens fol­low­ing a scrape or cut of the skin. How­ever, of­ten this scar for­ma­tion is laid down in ab­nor­mal ways that re­duce the heal­ing tis­sues’ strength, flex­i­bil­ity and dura­bil­ity. This lack of proper heal­ing can lead to a slowed heal­ing re­sponse or less re­silient soft tis­sues that are apt to be rein­jured.

The Gras­ton Tech­nique, or IASTM, uses stain­less steel in­stru­ments to help di­ag­no­sis and treat dys­func­tional soft tis­sue. When the phys­i­cal ther­a­pist gen­tly glides the tool on the in­jured area, the ther­a­pist and the pa­tient can sense the gran­u­lar, knot­ted or ban­d­like feel of the tis­sue. The tool ac­tu­ally am­pli­fies the sense of touch, much like a stetho­scope am­pli­fies the sound of the heart­beat.

For treat­ment of the soft tis­sue, the in­stru­ment is used in a pre­cise gentle way to “break up” the re­stric­tions or ad­he­sions in the soft tis­sue. Other man­ual ther­apy tech­niques (ART, my­ofas­cial re­lease, mo­bi­liza­tion, ma­nip­u­la­tion), stretch­ing, strength­en­ing and func­tional re­con­di­tion­ing ex­er­cises are then used to pro­mote scar re­align­ment and soft tis­sue fiber strength. This tech­nique and other man­ual ther­apy tech­niques have been shown through sci­en­tific re­search to en­hance heal­ing of dam­aged soft tis­sues, re­duce pain and ex­pe­dite re­turn to work, sports or ev­ery­day life.

The Gras­ton Tech­nique is cur­rently be­ing used by many pro­fes­sional and univer­sity sports teams, hos­pi­tals, clin­ics and work in­jury providers. Fur­ther­more, there are a num­ber of re­search stud­ies demon­strat­ing the tech­nique’s clin­i­cal ef­fi­cacy.

More com­mon di­ag­noses that re­spond well to Gras­ton Tech­nique: cer­vi­cal/tho­racic/lum­bar sprain/strain, wrist ten­donitis, ro­ta­tor cuff ten­donitis, post-sur­gi­cal scars, patel­lar ten­donitis, de Quer­vain syn­drome, il­i­otib­ial band syn­drome, sacroil­iac dys­func­tion, me­dial/lat­eral epi­condyli­tis, plan­tar fasci­itis, Achilles ten­don pain and an­kle sprains.

If pain is lim­it­ing you from do­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties you en­joy, give Mishock Phys­i­cal Ther­apy a call for a free phone con­sul­ta­tion at (610) 327-2600 or email your ques­tions to mishockpt@com­ Also, visit our web­site at to learn more about our treat­ment phi­los­o­phy, our phys­i­cal ther­apy staff and our six con­ve­nient lo­ca­tions in Gil­bertsville, Skip­pack, Phoenixville, Barto, Lim­er­ick and Stowe

Dr. John Mishock is one of only a few clin­i­cians with doc­tor­ate level de­grees in both phys­i­cal ther­apy and chi­ro­prac­tic in the state of Penn­syl­va­nia.

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