in their own words

Graston Technique®

A Real Homerun!

Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan, 22, a student at UMass Dartmouth and senior captain of his school’s baseball team, had just hit a line drive and was running toward first base when he felt a shot of pain course through the back of his right leg. After the game, he iced the injury—a pulled hamstring—and tried to stay off his feet. Unfortunately, his decision to play through the pain a few days later made the injury worse. “The pain in my right leg was so bad I immediately asked to get off the field,” he recalls.

This was not Matt’s first sports injury. He had previous experience with a number of sports-related injuries including a torn meniscus, rotator cuff tear, shoulder and bicep injury. Matt was very familiar with the long road to healing and months of rehabilitation. So, he was game when a new type of physical therapy known to hasten recovery, called the Graston technique® (GT), was recommended.

GT involves six stainless steel instruments that physical therapists run over the site of an injury to detect and treat scar tissue more effectively, explains Joni Brown, director of rehabilitation and sports medicine at Milford Regional. Scar tissue is detected when therapists feel a vibration in the tool. This signal directs them to areas where tissue needs to be treated and broken up.

Compared to the traditional hand method, GT is more effective because it allows physical therapists to detect very subtle changes in the tissue and apply more consistent and deeper pressure. By doing so, they allow muscles, tendons and ligaments to move properly—an essential part of the healing process, says Joni. In general, GT results in a much faster recovery. Within three to four visits, patients usually notice a difference. “We’ve had patients who have had one visit come back and say, ‘That was great!’” notes Joni.

Matt received GT at Milford Regional’s Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine facility in Whitinsville twice a week for approximately one month. This leading edge treatment is also offered by trained physical therapists at Milford Regional’s other two rehabilitation locations in Milford and Franklin. The recovery time was a lot faster than Matt expected. Two weeks after the injury, he was back in his team’s lineup.

Now just months away from graduation and hopes for a possible career in professional baseball, Matt is grateful for the Graston Technique® that led to a quick and full recovery from his hamstring injury. He has lots to look forward to and nothing stopping him from going after his dreams.

For more information on the Graston Technique® offered at Milford Regional, contact Joni Brown at 508-422-2877.

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