If you have read my previous posts, you are aware that I hold a healthy bias toward a realistic, sustainable diet plan and a constantly varied fitness routine. Hopefully, we can all agree that all diet plans are not created equal, there is no ‘magic pill’ or ‘perfect’ diet. Do your best to avoid processed foods 80-90% of the time and it’s safe to say that you are ‘eating right’. We can also agree that all exercise plans are not created equal, there is no ‘magic machine’ or ‘perfect’ movement. Move properly with solid form, have a good coach with smart programming who constantly varies the implemented weightlifting/gymnastics/skill work/mobility and metabolic conditioning over a period of time and it’s safe to say that you have yourself an effective exercise routine. As a healthcare provider, when I hear a patient say ‘I have a good diet’ or ‘I exercise’, I cannot move forward to help them help themselves until I qualify their diet and exercise. In order for me to truly treat a patient, I must make sure they are educated on what to eat and what not to eat as well as how to move and how not to move.
Just as all diet and exercise plans are not created equal, all recovery modalities do not have the same effectiveness for each patient. If I broke my leg, I would not want to see a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist, not matter how much I prefer conservative treatment modalities. Likewise, surgery is not a good first option for athletes that suffer from overuse, have a chronic sprain/strain, bulging discs or other non-stenotic forms of spinal degeneration. In these situations, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy and Acupuncture are much better options to correct those biomechanical issues that are causing the problem in the first place. Take care of the area of complaint, teach the patient how to move better and they will have a much better outcome.
With that, do all PT’s, DC’s, LMT’s, or LAc’s have the “tools” to treat the millions of patients that I’m referring to? They literally do not. First, they themselves must know how to move properly, diagnose and communicate to their patients how to functionally move. Second, they much be able to treat the area of complaint to their best ability.
In my professional career, Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) has been a game-changer. These tools have the ability to steep into the soft tissues and break down scar tissue that is typically the culprit for many chronic complaints. With scar tissue, not only does it change the integrity of the tissue itself, but changes in biomechanical movement patterns and movement compensation tend arise. On top of that, free nerve endings pop up within the scar, creating pain and further movement abnormalities.
To break down scar, it is infinitely more efficient to use an instrument. I have taught seminars across the country on IASTM and had my hands on literally hundreds of different tools. Graston, SMART, Gua Sha, ConnecTx, SASTM to name a few. They all pale in comparison when it comes to the quality of manufacturing and versatility of HawkGrips.
HawkGrips took feedback from many practitioners (including myself) who used other instruments and found that there were many similar complaints: “The instruments slip out of my hands.”, “I need to use gloves which is costly and time consuming.”, “The instruments start to pit after a few years of use and cleaning.”, “There is less feedback from the instrument than I would get from my hand.”
HawkGrips addressed every complaint with their line of instruments. If you are have a chronic injury and think the culprit may be scar tissue, find a healthcare provider in your area that uses HawkGrips in his/her office. If you are a healthcare provider and are interested in learning more about IASTM, do yourself a favor and take a look at HawkGrips. They now offer certification courses across the country to make sure you can use these instruments properly. Your patients will thank you and your return on investment will be worth-while.