Those suffering from rotator cuff tendinosis, a common complaint of the shoulder, should be aware that there’s a form of massage therapy that can be extremely effective in treating their condition. This revolutionary therapy is called Graston Technique, and with more than 13,000 practitioners worldwide, it is quickly growing to be a popular alternative to more traditional sports therapies.
About Graston Technique in Seattle
The Graston Technique was developed with the express aim of finding new ways of treating soft tissue ailments, such as those involving muscles and tendons, without the need for surgery. What makes the Graston Technique in Seattle unlike other traditional massage therapies is its use of specially-crafted stainless steel instruments to aid the therapist in both diagnosis and rehabilitation.
While most massage therapies rely on the soft, pliable flesh of the therapist’s hands, these steel instruments allow for much greater precision. Much like how a stethoscope allows a doctor to hear within a patient’s chest better than with their unaided ear, these Graston Technique tools work as extensions of the practitioner’s hands, helping them locate and treat the source of these soft tissue complaints.
About Rotator Cuff Tendinosis
In general, rotator cuff tendinosis involves a loss of function in the tendons that surround the rotator cuff in a person’s shoulder. There are four of these tendons, and they serve a dual purpose: they allow for the full range of circular motion in the shoulder, as well as providing the pressure that keeps the ball at the top of the shoulder within its socket.
With tendinosis, these tendons become torn through stress or repetitive motion, and fail to heal properly. Rather than healthy soft tissue, they form bundles of stiff, inflexible scar tissue called adhesions. These inhibit the motion of the shoulder, as well as being much weaker than the healthy tissue that should be present.
Common Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Tendinosis
The most common symptoms of rotator cuff tendinosis involve pain in the shoulder, as well as a reduced range of movement and decreased lifting strength. This pain is often more pronounced at night as it is aggitated during movements. Further, due to the reduced strength of these tendons, it makes further damage more likely to occur as long as the condition remains untreated. It can easily develop into a chronic condition, substantially weakening the shoulder and causing constant pain to the patient.
Why Use Graston Technique for Rotator Cuff Tendinosis?
Rotator cuff tendinosis has many possible causes that may act alone or in combination to result in tendon degeneration. In cases where the cause is scar tissue adhesions, Graston Technique is quite well-suited to providing relief. Unlike traditional therapies, Graston Technique allows practitioners to go straight to the source of the problem, on the ligaments themselves. They can treat them directly, rather than relying on indirect treatments such as bed rest and steroidal injections.
Once the adhesions are broken up, the affected tendons are then free to heal naturally, forming healthy soft tissue rather than scar tissue. In this way, the cause of these cases of tendinosis is undone, leaving the patient with a strong, healthy shoulder that is ready for natural use.
How Graston Technique is Performed for Rotator Cuff Tendinosis
With Graston Technique, diagnosis of the tendinosis can generally be done with a brief physical examination along with gentle probing of the affected tendons. Once diagnosed, the Graston Technique practitioner would feel along the tendons carefully, looking for adhesions. These are then massaged vigorously, increasing blood flow to the region and and breaking up the scar tissue.
Generally, it takes several sessions to fully break up the adhesion, and these are spaced out to roughly two per week. Graston Technique treatments are then combined with more traditional physical therapy, to gently stretch out the tendons and help restore a normal range of motion.
Tendon injuries can often take several weeks, and sometimes as long as several months, to heal. While direct application of Graston Technique is not necessary for this full duration, the patient will still undergo physical therapy and observation to ensure their tendons are healing properly. They will also need to be careful to avoid any strenuous activity that might damage the healing tissue.
Kinetic Sports Rehab Clinic offers this revolutionary form of therapy. Our doctors are certified with Graston and you will be in the hands of a properly-trained Graston Technique practitioner, a patient suffering from tendinosis can heal more quickly as well as restoring more strength to their shoulder. Call (206) 547-0707 to find out how physical rehab therapy may be able to help you.
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