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Health Alert: Rubbing Away Pain

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Reporting: Stephanie Stahl - PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3)

In health, a unique approach to ending pain that you probably never heard of, and best of all, there is no surgery of drugs involved.

Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl has the details on this simple way to relieve all sorts of aches and pains.

graston techniquePlaying with her kids was impossible, even doing something as basic as making pasta caused excruciating pain for Pamela Baker.

"I couldn't do anything, simple things like picking up a gallon of milk or shaking somebody's hand or brushing my hair, or just little things, typing. Everything, everything started to hurt," said Pamela.

She had tendonitis in both elbows; she had surgery on her left arm.

"I have a scar here and then I have another scar here," said Pamela

But for her right arm, tools that might look like medieval torture devices brought tremendous relief.

It's called the Graston Technique.

Jaime Howard, with Dresher Physical Therapy, said the stainless steel tools are specially designed to ease tendon and muscle pain. Their crafted edges help break up and separate knotted scar tissue.

"Not only are you decreasing the knots, but you're also kind of starting a new healing process and bringing in all those nutrients like blood flow, oxygen and cells to heal it and get the tissue to be healthy again," said Jaime.

It's similar to massage therapy, but she said the tools are more effective.

"The tools penetrate a little deeper than the hands would," said Jaime.

"It feels like it is doing its job a little more effectively than just hands," said Matt Dorneman, a cyclist who injured his hamstring.

He said his pulled muscle responded quickly to the Graston Technique.

"Immediately after, I noticed the area was a lot looser," said Matt.

The tools come in different shapes and sizes for different body parts.

"It's a great adjunct to physical therapy, the more tools in the box the better," said Jaime.

And they can be used on everything from carpal tunnel syndrome to pain in the neck, back and feet.

"It's very effective with plantar fasciitis, that's a definite soft tissue problem," said Jaime.

It worked wonders for Pamela's tendonitis.

After several sessions she was back to her favorite sport, golf. Now she's swinging away with no pain.

"I'm shocked, shocked that I've made it through the entire golf season, without pain. I haven't gotten any cortisone shots, nothing," said Pamela.

Therapists who use this technique need specialized training. It is usually done in conjunction with other physical therapy treatments and is often covered by insurance.

It usually takes 8 to 12 sessions to get the best result.


(© MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)



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