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With patented, precision-crafted edges and a PT-friendly no-slip design, HawkGrips deliver unprecedented comfort, effectiveness and the very best patient outcomes.

Beyond broken

The worst of circumstances can sometimes lead to amazing results. Just ask Frank Osborne.

In a 1997 ski accident Osborne broke his neck, back, wrist, arm and both shoulders. As a result, he struggled with tremendous, debilitating pain for more than a decade. Thirty surgeries, extensive physical therapy, and alternative treatments offered little help. But finally, after receiving IASTM treatments in 2008, Osborne experienced such life-changing improvement that he was driven to learn everything he could about instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization and the tools that made it happen. He set out on a course to create the ultimate in stainless steel instruments. The result was HawkGrips.

Not just better—perfect

When developing HawkGrips, Osborne found that in terms of IASTM instruments, most therapists agreed stainless steel was best. However, most also agreed there was room for improvement. Stainless steel was slippery and hard to hold onto. The number and type of treatment edges was limited. Handlebars could be uncomfortable to use. There weren’t enough options to treat all patients.

With that, Osborne’s team designed a product that kept everything good about stainless steel—and perfected it. HawkGrips feature built-in, no-slip, crosshatched grips, a variety of precise treatment edges and ergonomically designed handlebars. They’re also available in nine options to treat all sizes and every condition. These improvements culminated in instruments that treat soft tissue injuries more efficiently and facilitate faster patient recovery with less physical strain for the clinician. No wonder HawkGrips become the number one choice for every therapist that tries them.

Highest-quality instruments, partnerships, and the best in continuing education

As more and more research revealed the benefits of instrument assisted therapy, the demand for IASTM products and training was on the rise and word spread about HawkGrips in a big way. Very soon the list of customers using HawkGrips included Johns Hopkins University, the Cleveland Clinic, Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, the New York Yankees, Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs, as well as U.S. Navy Seals and the White House.

In January 2015, HawkGrips entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Patterson Medical. According to Osborne, “In order to make HawkGrips more accessible to all therapists looking to include them as part of their soft tissue management protocol, we knew Patterson was the right partner. In fact, in addition to providing the highest-quality instruments, HawkGrips is leading the way in education with several IASTM CEU courses including those offered through Patterson Medical University.”

Back to the future

Frank Osborne had received his state-of-the-art treatment at PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services. That’s not surprising. PHOENIX operates under the guiding principal of providing the best care imaginable by utilizing the latest techniques and tools to meet the needs of every patient. So the collaboration between PHOENIX, HawkGrips and Patterson Medical was a natural.

Patterson representative, Debbie Burkhart, worked with PHOENIX Educational Director, Joe Gianoni, to facilitate an IASTM seminar using HawkGrips. Burkhart says, “I provided added value by offering my time and furnishing the supplies for the course and HawkGrips supplied the instruments.” As a result, requisitions for HawkGrips were approved and they have been in use within PHOENIX ever since. According to Dave Angelo, PT, MPT, Executive Vice President of Operations, “That’s the way PHOENIX as a whole operates. We are dedicated to providing the education, tools and applications needed in order for our therapists to achieve the best outcomes for their patients.”

“The edges are extraordinarily important. The more significant bevel allows the clinician to get precisely into an area and combines with the natural weight of the instrument so minimal pressure is needed.”

-Franco Madaffari, PT, DPT, ATC, COMT

The variety of instruments allows clinicians to focus their force on specific problem areas without the wear and tear that can come from performing hands-on therapy. 

The best instruments for the best results

Barry Wrench, PT, DPT, is the facility director for PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, a facility that sees up to 40 patients on a busy day. Between Wrench and his assistants, each one gets individualized care. Some time back, he experimented with soft tissue instruments. “They were good, but not great, so as I found myself looking to use tools more and more, I started toying around with the idea of getting something in stainless steel.” When Wrench attended the HawkGrips seminar he knew he found exactly what he was looking for.

“I noticed the difference while we were still in the course. As soon as I worked on somebody with HawkGrips I got that awesome red tissue response with the increased blood flow within a minute. That never happened as quickly with other tools. From that point on I have primarily used HawkGrips.”

According to Wrench the tools he used previously were robust enough but the grip left a lot to be desired. He also found that because the design was somewhat bulky, he couldn’t get to the very pointed areas of tissue that HawkGrips allowed him to.

He explains, “If I have to spend my whole time with a patient doing massage or trying to get tissue loose, we can’t get to much else. HawkGrips allow me to get the soft tissue work done and move on to other techniques. For example, if I’m working with a rotator cuff repair, I’ll palpate with my hands and maybe

do a couple manual releases. But if I find it’s really tight in there, I’ll grab the HawkGrips tool, work with it for two or three minutes and we’re done, versus me working with my hands alone for 15 minutes to get the same results. To me that’s the most attractive thing. Using HawkGrips allows me to utilize my time with a patient more efficiently and effectively.”

He offers a specific example, “I currently have a patient that I’ve used HawkGrips on during three visits and she’s already 95% better. I would have expected it to take eight to 10 visits to get to 100%, now we’ll get there in about five. Of course, instruments are part of our comprehensive treatment, but she definitely progressed more quickly than I expected and I attribute that to using HawkGrips.”

When asked if HawkGrips have changed his approach to treating he says, “Absolutely. They just really enhance the amount of time I can spend with people and the variety and number of techniques I can use in a single visit. I like these instruments so much better than others I’ve used. They really do impact outcomes.”

According to Wrench another thing that makes HawkGrips more attractive than the competition is the no-strings-attached philosophy. Unlike other brands, there are no licensing fees or training contracts. You simply buy the instruments you need (even one at a time) to do the work you want to do. With HawkGrips, it’s all about providing therapists with the best tools for the best results.

“I can honestly say that HawkGrips help me do therapy not only more efficiently, but also more effectively. I’m actually doing more soft tissue work than I had done in the past because of the efficacy of HawkGrips.”

-Joe Molony, Jr., PT, MS, SCS, CSCS

Precision edges detect and treat carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, joint sprains, runner’s knee, tendonitis, and many other conditions. Ergonomically designed handlebars increase comfort for both the patient and the clinician. 

100% “go-to”, 100% of the time

Franco Madaffari, PT, DPT, ATC, COMT, is the Facility Director for PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services, Pottsville, PA. He’s always been a proponent of IASTM. And, while he has used stainless steel tools in the past, since being introduced to HawkGrips he reports they are his “go-to” instruments 100% of the time.

“One of the things I didn’t like about the tools I used previously was how slippery they were. Once I put on the emollient, I would literally lose my grip which defeated the purpose. With HawkGrips, there’s a crosshatch pattern built in that allows the instrument to easily stay in place in your hand. And speaking of emollient, I appreciate that HawkGrips are so easy to clean. It’s as simple as using an alcohol wipe.”

What else makes HawkGrips superior? According to Madaffari, it’s the precision edges and the weight. He explains, “The more significant bevel allows the clinician to get precisely into an area and combines with the natural weight of the instrument so minimal pressure is needed. This translates to less fatigue for the clinician and less discomfort for the patient.” He sees it as getting maximum results with minimum pressure. “For therapists who use their hands all day and do any kind of manual treatment, HawkGrips allow you to actually make it through the day without getting exhausted.”

For patients with tendonitis and chronic inflammatory problems that need increased blood flow to an area, Madaffari says HawkGrips work wonders. He also says they have categorically changed the way he treats elbows. “HawkGrips allow me to get in there, mobilize some of the scar tissue, fibers and adhesions, stretch it and get motion back more quickly and easily.” Additionally he says if you flip a HawkGrips instrument around, it becomes a desensitization tool. This opens the door to being able to treat a whole other patient population, those with neurological symptoms and diseases that are often difficult to address.

Today there’s a growing body of research showing that the benefits of instrument assisted therapy outweigh manual therapy. Madaffari offers one explanation, “Sometimes in physical therapy, the art of a technique is ahead of the science. Thanks to HawkGrips, the science is finally catching up with the Art.”

HawkGrips are so effective, even the most premier of clinicians choose them over other tools. Not long ago, company owner Frank Osborne was recognized by the White House for his support – by supplying HawkGrips instruments to the Physical Therapist to the President. 

Patients notice the difference in just one session

Mike O’Connell, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSCS, is the Facility Director for PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services, Frackville, PA. His experience with HawkGrips mirrors that of Madaffari almost exactly.

“I had always done a lot of soft tissue mobilization but by the end of the day my hands would be killing me. So about six years ago I started using instruments. The tools I used initially were too lightweight and didn’t really help my hand fatigue. With that I switched to stainless steel. While those were better, the biggest disadvantage was that they were slippery and I was fatiguing from gripping so hard. I also wasn’t fond of the company’s philosophy of use that included complicated licensing and training stipulations.”

Once O’Connell was introduced to HawkGrips he was immediately on board.

“Because I’m a certified manual therapist, I use my hands all day, every day. With HawkGrips, I’m able to get things cleaned up much more efficiently and effectively. What would normally take 12 visits to treat; I’m now able to get accomplished in six or eight.

Some of his patients have actually noticed the difference in just one session. He explains, “If I have a knee patient, I will test their squat and ask them to assign a number to their pain. Then I’ll do treatment with HawkGrips, followed by manual therapy and sometimes they’ll be able to do a full squat with zero out of 10 pain in the same session.”

He says he wasn’t seeing that kind of success with other tools for two reasons. “First, it was hard on me and secondly, the protocol required a more aggressive technique. Between that added pressure and the fact lighter tools had thinner edges, patients were having significant discomfort. In fact, some would literally tell me not to do the technique anymore.”

Because HawkGrips are heavier instruments with smooth edges, O’Connell has found he doesn’t have to press nearly as hard, and the built-in grip means he doesn’t have to hold on so tightly. He also likes that cleaning the instruments couldn’t be easier. All it takes is an alcohol wipe or treatment table cleaning solution and you’re done. From O’Connell’s perspective using HawkGrips makes for a more comfortable, convenient experience all the way around.

“I can honestly say HawkGrips have definitely changed my approach to treating. I’m able to get through things more quickly and comfortably, which allows me to do more therapy with each patient in less time. There’s so much benefit to that. Whenever you can spend less time and money on treatment, it makes people happy.”

Changing the way we do treatment

Joe Molony, Jr., PT, MS, SCS, CSCS, is Facility Director for PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services, West Chester, PA and has over 23 years of experience that includes working with all levels of patients from youth athletes to professional and Olympic Competitors.

He was introduced to HawkGrips through the course conducted at PHOENIX. “Something I instantly liked was that HawkGrips are designed so they don’t require using extreme pressure. And, something that surprised me was that, as advertised, they have an interesting ability, to identify nodules and abnormalities in soft tissue in a way that you can’t do, or can’t do as easily, through palpation.”

As a manually oriented therapist, Molony explains that over the years everything he’s done in regard to soft tissue work has involved the use of his body. He acknowledges there were limitations so he appreciates that the variety of HawkGrips allows him to get to the areas he needs to with good hand placement and less stress on his hands.

He also appreciates that they maximize patient comfort. “The weight, polish and beveled edges of HawkGrips make manual therapy more comfortable for the patient, even more so than standard techniques using hands, forearms and elbows. Patients actually tell me this therapy feels good.”

He adds, “When doing manual therapy, I would work one particular area, move over to the next spot, try to work that, and move to the next spot, so there would naturally be some gaps. With HawkGrips and a skin lubricant I’m able to do a continuous motion, parallel with the fibers and against the fibers without gaps.”

 

He says he can see why we make progress and get results more quickly. “I can honestly say that HawkGrips help me do therapy not only more efficiently, but also more effectively. I’m actually doing more soft tissue work than I had done in the past because of the efficacy of HawkGrips.”

Joe Molony, Jr., PT, MS, SCS, CSCS, is Facility Director for PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services, West Chester, PA and has over 23 years of experience that includes working with all levels of patients from youth athletes to professional and Olympic Competitors.

He was introduced to HawkGrips through the course conducted at PHOENIX. “Something I instantly liked was that HawkGrips are designed so they don’t require using extreme pressure. And, something that surprised me was that, as advertised, they have an interesting ability, to identify nodules and abnormalities in soft tissue in a way that you can’t do, or can’t do as easily, through palpation.”

As a manually oriented therapist, Molony explains that over the years everything he’s done in regard to soft tissue work has involved the use of his body. He acknowledges there were limitations so he appreciates that the variety of HawkGrips allows him to get to the areas he needs to with good hand placement and less stress on his hands.

He also appreciates that they maximize patient comfort. “The weight, polish and beveled edges of HawkGrips make manual therapy more comfortable for the patient, even more so than standard techniques using hands, forearms and elbows. Patients actually tell me this therapy feels good.”

He adds, “When doing manual therapy, I would work one particular area, move over to the next spot, try to work that, and move to the next spot, so there would naturally be some gaps. With HawkGrips and a skin lubricant I’m able to do a continuous motion, parallel with the fibers and against the fibers without gaps.”

He says he can see why we make progress and get results more quickly. “I can honestly say that HawkGrips help me do therapy not only more efficiently, but also more effectively. I’m actually doing more soft tissue work than I had done in the past because of the efficacy of HawkGrips.”

The Gold Standard

Saying the response to HawkGrips has been positive is an understatement. For anyone who has used them it’s clear—HawkGrips represent the gold standard in stainless steel instruments. They look different, they feel different, and the results speak for themselves. The innovative design allows therapists to treat even the most difficult issues more efficiently, more comfortably and more effectively.

Despite the fact that IASTM and stainless steel instruments have been around for some time, it looks as though Frank Osborne and HawkGrips got it more than right. For clinicians dedicated to providing the absolute best for their patients, there’s no better choice than HawkGrips.

Article originally published in Patterson Medical’s Rehab Insider, Fall 2015.
Author: Rose Callahan

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