Submitted by Kevin Devine, Athletic Development Coach at the Sports Medicine Institute in Crown Point
The Olympics are over and Michael Phelps added 4 gold medals and 2 silver medals to his collection. He also broke the overall medal count bringing his medal count to 22!
To get Phelps to be the most decorated Olympian he is put through rigorous training. Phelps and his trainer look for ways to help him recover quickly and effectively from the strenuous training. Making sure he is feeling and moving at his best for races. In 2007 at a meet in Missouri, Phelps’s shoulders and back were locked up, tight and he wasn’t moving well. This is when Michael was first introduced into Graston Technique. His strength trainer, Keenan Robinson used the Graston tools, worked it out and he broke the world record in the 200 butterfly.
Graston is stainless-steel instruments used to scan and treat muscles and soft tissue, find adhesions, break down scar tissue. Following treatment the connective tissue and muscle fibers are then stretched to promote optimal length and function. When Graston tools are moved over lumps or adhesions, the hands’ ability to feel are amplified through the tools, much like a doctor uses a stethoscope to hear a patient’s chest. This helps detect major and minor fiber changes and restrictions. The tools also put minimal stress on the clinician’s hands compared to a “hands on” massage while also allowing for maximal tissue penetration.
Graston can be used to treat many different types of injuries and has many benefits. Typical injuries Graston is used for include: shin splints, tendinosis/tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, knee pain, neck pain, back pain and also to break up scar tissue from surgery or injury. However, most importantly Graston decreases overall time of treatment, faster rehabilitation/recovery and can resolve chronic conditions.
Other than Michael Phelps, there are also many professional teams and athletes that use Graston Technique. About half of the NBA, MLB and NFL teams use Graston, as well as the NHL, PGA, English Premier League, multiple amateur sports, 51 respected colleges and universities and 38 major corporations such as Frito Lay, US Army and Navy. Overall, the number of clinician’s and sports teams using Graston continues to grow. Also, with the results from using Graston, it has shown to be a great improvement from “yesterday’s” methods of recovery and rehabilitation.
At SMI, we strive to stay up to date with the latest techniques of recovery in sports medicine. We currently use Graston technique in our facitlity. Come in today to get treated like the professionals!