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Graston Technique & Laser Therapy For Duputyren's Contracture

A current patient of mine, Roz, a 71 year old professor, presented to my office on September 19, 2013 seeking treatment for her left hand which was suffering from Dupuytren’s contracture. Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition that results in contracture of the soft tissues of the hands and fingers (most commonly the ring and pinky fingers). The cause of this condition remains unknown, although commonly affects men over the age of 50 and progresses slowly affecting hand function. The condition runs in Roz’s family, but she is the only one in her family that seeks out treatment for the condition.

Although I always try to treat the cause of a condition, for Dupuytren’s contracture this is impossible. So, my treatment approache aims to reduce the effects – muscular, tendinous, and fascial restrictions. I do this using a combination of three techniques:

1.Low Level (“Cold”) Laser Therapy
2.Myofascial Release
3.Graston Technique

Roz actually sought me out specifically because I offer Graston Technique. Graston is a certified “Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)” technique. IASTM is an increasingly popular method of treating soft tissue adhesions, whether those adhesions are present in muscle, tendons, fascia, ligaments, or joint capsules. Graston Technique uses stainless steel instruments to help break down the adhesions by running the instruments along the soft tissue areas in need. As it might sound, the instruments physically break down the adhesions, ala ironing a wrinkled pair of pants.

In addition to using the Graston tools, I also use my own hands-on myofascial release to assist the contractured adhesions to release.

I have also been incorporating “Cold Laser” therapy into Roz’s treatment. Laser stimulates tissue repair and promotes proper soft tissue alignment as it heals. Pairing the physical tissue breakdown techniques of IASTM and myofascial release with the technology of “cold laser” makes perfect sense for the treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture, as well as so many other musculoskeletal ailments. After Roz’s second treatment, we each noticed a considerable improvement in her hand’s contractures, function, and form. We continue to use these techniques to further the recovery. And, driven by the success of her left hand, we have begun to use similar approaches for her recently fractured right wrist. In addition to laser and Graston Technique, Roz will perform therapeutic exercises, and receive osteopathic manual manipulation with our Osteopath Katherine to maximize her wrist fracture recovery.

2 Join the Conversation

  1. john says
    Mar 17, 2017 at 3:40 PM

    Hello i am going to get a laser to get me some help with my dupuytren's could you give me some idea which laser low watt i should consider as i can not afford to get professional help Thank you John

    • says
      Mar 17, 2017 at 11:43 AM

      Hi John, Thanks for your comment/question. Unfortunately, I do not have a good answer for you. Scientifically speaking, I do not believe there is an established an answer to your question. I use a Low Level Laser Therapy device made by Theralase. It incorporates two wavelengths of laser: 660nm and 905nm, and is delivered via a patented super-pulsed method. It is arguably one of the best devices in the world. With that said, I incorporate the laser device into my physical therapy approach for Duputyren's Contracture, including manual therapy, Functional Release and Graston Technique. I would not only use Laser for this condition. But, even if you were determined to try Laser Therapy alone, purchasing a device for yourself is extremely expensive. Laser devices today cost between $20,000 to $40,000. Your better bet is a conservative trial of therapy incorporating both Laser & manual therapy techniques. Feel free to email or call me to discuss further. And, good luck!

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