Rheumatoid Arthritis and Physical Therapy

Meet Holly....Patient of the Month for July 2013

Holly is nothing short of amazing!  She fills our early mornings with laughter and has a consistently positive attitude.

She has approached her physical therapy with grace and determination, just as she has with life’s challenges. Her passion to embrace life is contagious and her taste in shoes is unreal!

In her own words....

  Three words that describe you: Outgoing, courageous, with a hint of sarcasm! (we agree-ha!)

What brought you to PT? I have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was six years old and developed a bunion on my right foot.I had surgery to repair it in February 2013. The doctor “broke” and pinned the bones, as well as removed some damaged tissue.

How have you benefitted from your PT experience?Going to physical therapy has been great! I attend two times a week and love Iron PT. The entire staff is wonderful. Aside from the mild torture Dr. Mayes puts my foot through on my early am visits, I really enjoy coming and have found it to be extremely beneficial and dare I say fun too!! I have seen a great improvement in the range of motion in my foot since I started attending about two months ago.

What would you recommend to someone who has the same injury as you? In my case due to the RA, regaining range of motion has been a tough process. I did not start PT until about four months after my surgery, which was too long. As soon as you are “back on your feet” and it is safe to proceed with PT, get started! The sooner, the better.

What activities are you most excited about getting back to?Well, as the Iron PT staff all know, I want to get back in my high heels. We have made our way back to 2 inch heels, now to get into the 4 inch ones. I do not wear them often, after all I do not want another bunion, but a young lady has to have her heels for a night out!



The Secret to Relieving Foot Pain (POM 05/13)

Patient of the Month - May 2013

When Michele came to us she was suffering from debilitating foot pain. She had been to many other doctors, but none of the treatment was able to provide relief.

Then she heard about Active Release Technique (ART) and located Dr. Mayeswho was a locally certified provider.  After receiving ART as well as the instrument-assisted Graston Technique, Michele was overjoyed with the results.

She even offered to travel to conferences with Dr. Mayes to speak to podiatrists and orthopedists about the effectiveness of these techniques in relieving foot pain.

Michele has not only been committed and compliant during  her own recovery, but she has taken the time to inspire and give hope to other people who are suffering from chronic pain.

In her own words....

Why PT? Scar tissue was preventing my big toe from bending resulting in excrutiating pain when I walked.

How have you benefitted from your PT experience?After about 10 sessions, I was able to walk with much less pain. It is now a soreness and aching feeling rather than inflammation and horrendous pain in my foot. Additionally, I don't have to think about limiting my walking, and I am able to lead a more normal life.

What would you recommend to someone who has the same injury as you? The Active Release Technique and Graston Technique, performed by Dr. Mayes, is the only way to go.  Don't wait any longer - seek help.

What activities are you most excited about getting back to? I am most excited about taking a Zumba class, being able to wear a sneaker/shoe for more than a few minutes without discomfort, and now looking forward to traveling with my husband without having to worry about how much walking we do.

What is the Graston Technique®? Does it work?



Our patients affectionately refer to the Graston Technique® instruments  as "butter knives!" It's a treatment they hate to love, but the results speak for themselves. Many famous athletes swear by the technique including Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.

Does it work?

Historically, The Graston Technique® has had positive outcomes in 75-90% of all conditions treated. It is equally effective on restoring function to acute and chronic injuries, and pre- and post-surgical patient. Click here for Outcome Summary Data of the 17 most common diagnoses.



How do the instruments work?

In the healing process, our body attempts to repair muscles, tendons and ligaments with “scar tissue,” much like a scar that forms on the skin when you have scraped your knee. The Graston Technique® (originally developed by athletes) is a form of soft tissue mobilization using six stainless steel instruments to glide along a patient’s muscles, tendons or ligaments to detect and break up this scar tissue as well as fascial restrictions and adhesions which tend to be weaker and less flexible than undamaged tissue. It is not meant to replace a clinician’s hands, but to complement them by substantially improving the ability to detect and treat dysfunction.

Does it hurt?

If there is a large amount of scar tissue, there can be minor discomfort while the clinician breaks it up, but this is part of the healing process.

What is Graston used to treat?

Graston Technique® has been clinically proven to achieve quicker and better outcomes in treating both acute and chronic conditions including:

  • Achilles Tendinitis/osis (ankle pain)

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)

  • Cervical Sprain/Strain (neck pain)

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Lateral Epicondylitis/osis (tennis elbow)

  • Lumbar Sprain/Strain (back pain)

  • Medial Epicondylitis/osis (golfer's elbow)

  • Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)

  • Plantar Fasciitis/osis (foot pain)

  • Rotator Cuff Tendinitis/osis (shoulder pain)

  • Scar Tissue

  • Shin Splints

  • Trigger Finger

  • Women’s Health (post-mastectomy and Caesarean scarring)

Who can do it?

Only clinicians who have been trained and accredited in the Graston Technique® Basic course are qualified to obtain the Graston Technique® instruments and apply the technique to treat patients


Last week we discharged a patient who had been suffering from chronic neck pain after a car accident five years ago. After only four sessions utilizing the Graston Technique®, she had complete relief and could not believe the results. She said she could actually feel the scar tissue being broken up and began craving the twice weekly treatments.

More FAQs

The Graston Technique®website does a good job of answering some other FAQs