I've been certified in Graston Technique(r) since 2002/2003. It's a phenomenal method at treating chronic sports injuries and some acute injuries as well. The technique uses 6 stainless steel instruments (pictured to the right) that are used to treat scar tissue and adhesions that prevent the function of normal tissue dynamics typically seen after an improperly healed injury.
Since becoming certified and practicing this technique on thousands of patients over the years I began to notice that I would get the best results when I treated patients in a position of provocation. In other words, when a patient said, "it hurts when I do this" I would treat the condition with my Graston Technique(r) instruments while they were in the position where they complained provoked their pain. My rate of success increased even more.
I began having people hold dumbbell weights, pull on resistance bands or exercise tubing or simply go through the motions of their sport while I administered the treatment. I would follow this more active/function version of Graston Technique(r) with stretching, ice and electric stimulation and pulsed ultrasound. The results were outstanding. You should also know that Graston Technique(r) isn't just treating patients with their instruments. It also involved evaluation of the patient and the administration of treatment afterward (stretching, therapies and home instructions for patient self care).
In 2006 I was picked to travel with a team of sports chiropractors to treat athletes at the 20th Central American & All Caribbean Sport Games. It's basically a mini-Olympics where the winners of these events go on to the Pan American Games and then onto the Olympics.
In most circumstances, all I had was my reflex hammer, some athletic tape & and ACE bandage, my adjusting table and my set of Graston instruments. If I was lucky, there was some ice and plastic bags. I used both the standard Graston Technique(r) and also the more functional version I was slowly discovering. Being in an environment where you often didn't have electricity and certainly didn't have all the comforts of a modern chiropractic sports injury office, you had to so the best with what you had. I found that I was able to use these more functional treating techniques were extremely effective, more so than when treating statically. I helped quite a few athletes get back into their event pain free. I continued to use my modified methods when I finally returned home.
It wasn't too long after that I learned one of my sports medicine mentors, Dr. Tom Hyde along with one of my original Graston Technique (r) instructors, Dr. Greg Doerr had been developing a lot of this "functional" Instrument Soft Tissue Mobilization stuff. I believe they had been doing it for about 4 years at the point when I first caught onto it but had already taken it a lot further. Both being instructors & friends, they they continued to collaborate and add more and more to it. Dr. Hyde and Dr. Doerr continue to develop and add to this functional instrument based soft tissue technique and began teaching and adding to it. I took their class which was called FAKTR-PM (Functional And Kinetic Treatment with Rehab Provocation and Motion (...now shortened to just FAKTR). It was outstanding. The physicians, trainers and therapist that were in the classes were certainly the cream of the crop. I think people knew that they were on to something big.
The technique really developed and advanced, now getting the input of the many of the leading physicians, trainers and therapists from around the world. This FAKTR thing had developed into a very advanced Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization method. It continues to evolve to this day and I'm sure will be better tomorrow than it was yesterday.
I think the Graston Technique(r) is an excellent base of knowledge and represents the foundation for this work. If you want to get into this kind of treatment, Graston Technique(r) is definitely the place to start. It represents the foundation of instrument based soft tissue treatment. In my opinion, you can't get very far without a good foundation. However, as you get more experienced with your technique, FAKTR is where you go from there. FAKTR is an ever evolving technique that incorporates current trends and research. I've seen where one seminar to the next will be different based on information that was published in a recent research journal. It's ever evolving for the right reasons.
What has made performing FAKTR so much easier was the N6 Narson Body Mechanic that I developed. I found that when treating a patient, I changed instruments at least twice, sometimes more. Now, I currently use only 1 stainless steel instrument that has the functionality of my 5 main GT instruments as well as other Gua Sha instruments on the market. It's like a Swiss Army Knife of Soft Tissue instruments. I've added a gripping surface to reduce finger and hand fatigue and now I only need to carry 1 instrument from patient to patient. I only clean 1 instrument and it's much easier to transport when traveling. That's probably considered a shameless plug, but it kind of like talking about baseball without mentioning the glove, ball or bat.
So combine your FAKTR Functional and Kinetic Treatment with Rehab Provocation and Motion with your Narson Body Mechanic N6 and you have a winning combination to treat athletes, difficult chronic sports injuries and more.
For more information on the techniques and instruments discussed above, please click on the following links:
Narson Body Mechanic N6: www.NarsonBodyMechanic.com
Graston Technique: www.GrastonTechnique.com
Graston Technique(r), FAKTR and Narson Body Mechanic are separate and distinct companies. None of these companies endorses the other. The Narson Body Mechanic instrument should not be confused with Graston Technique(r) instruments. The Narson Body Mechanic is for use with Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization while only Graston Technique(r) tools are for use with Graston Technique(r). Graston Technique(r) is owned by Therapy Care Resources, Inc.
Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.