Rikke Johansen, D.C., is the founder of Health Logic and has 18 years of experience in practice as a doctor of chiropractic medicine.
Dr. Johansen is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP), a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and has completed the educational requirements to qualify her as a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DACBSP) and as a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiologists (DACBR). She is also a USA Triathlon Level I certified triathlon coach and a USA Cycling Level II certified cycling coach.
rc: What are the types of physical complaints Graston technique is effective in addressing?
RJ: The most common complaints in my practice (we see a high percentage of endurance athletes) where patients specifically come in or are sent by their medical doctors to get Graston are: Plantar Fasciitis, Iliotibial Band Tendonosis, and Achilles Tendonitis. Another common issue is post surgical scar tissue, i.e. after shoulder or knee surgery. The chronic high hamstring tear is also effectively addressed with Graston.
rc: What makes Graston different than other popular techniques, such as manual deep tissue sports massage and Active Release Technique?
RJ: It is important to remember that all techniques are only as good as the overall assessment of the athlete as well as proper diagnosis of the kinetic chain and faulty bio-mechanics. A knee problem is rarely an isolated knee problem. It is important to correct muscle weaknesses, range of motion challenges, etc. We certainly use a combination of myofascial techniques, but with the Graston instruments we are able to more specifically locate adhesions, get a sense of severity and create the localized controlled 'trauma' that will aide in normalizing the tissues.
rc: What does Graston feel like and how effective is it?
RJ: Everybody has different pain thresholds, and different body areas are more sensitive. Graston can be slightly painful, but more often in a 'good' way. It is often described as a rolling pin, when done on the back with a large instrument. Some people describe the smaller treatment edges as metal brushes. The technique is modified to each individuals comfort level and pain is not necessary to get results. As to effectiveness, generally we take care of 85-90% of chronic conditions, such as those mentioned above, in 4-6 visits.