Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at Owatonna Hospital offering new treatment option

Derek Schelling, PT, DPT, uses the HawkGrips tool during a physical therapy session. (Submitted photo)


Press Release
June 30, 2017


Daily suffering from chronic injuries, pain and stiffness can severely impact quality of life. A new treatment available through Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute at Owatonna Hospital “Tool Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization” (TASTM) can help relieve those symptoms and return sufferers to the activities they enjoy.

What is TASTM?

It’s a non-invasive technique, using stainless steel tools, called HawkGrips, to promote healing of painful tissues or reduce scar tissue throughout the body. Derived from the Chinese medicine technique of Gua Sha, the technique is now used in physical therapy practice. Plus, pain reduction and improved function can be achieved because of the variety of the tool’s sizes and treatment edges, ensuring precise treatment for patients of different sizes and age groups.

How does TASTM work?

After a thorough evaluation, a physical therapist works with the patient to decide if the tools would be a positive addition to other physical therapy interventions such as exercise, manual therapy and the use of heat and ice. A typical treatment session involves first identifying areas where there’s scar tissue or restriction and then warming up the tissue to prepare for treatment. The physical therapist will then treat with TASTM and end with gentle exercise and stretching to promote proper tissue movement. The technique is performed for a very short period of time, usually five-to-10 minutes, to avoid overworking the tissue.

Who benefits from using HawkGrips?

Anyone. This technique is safe for the general population, as well as many pediatric and geriatric patients. Common conditions treated with TASTM using HawkGrips include but are not limited to: plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, tendon injuries, lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and chronic pain disorder. Plus, the new tools have been successful in freeing up chronic scar tissue that is a result of surgery or trauma.

What are the benefits of using HawkGrips?

Using HawkGrips during a typical physical therapy session can help speed up the patient’s healing process, so he or she can return to a better quality of life. Patients typically report a warming sensation immediately following the treatment session, with decreased pain and improved flexibility. It’s also not uncommon for patients to report a large decrease in the tenderness or trigger points. Side effects are relatively rare. However, bruising from the tools can happen and is a sign that the dysfunctional tissue has been worked through and will self-resolve within two-to-five days.

HawkGrips can:

• prevent surgery

• reduce need for medication

• increase range of motion

• resolve chronic conditions

• enhance athletic performance.

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute — Owatonna Hospital providers certified to use the HawkGrips tool set include Derek Schelling, PT, DPT; Jason Jacobs, PT, ATC; and Christa Christianson, PTA. To learn more, call 507-977-2150 or visit, click on “Services,” then “Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.”

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Forge Steele County

135 W. Pearl Street
Owatonna, MN 55060