What Is the Graston Technique? What Is It Used for?
Updated: Jan 15
There are some chronic pains caused by injuries that just won’t go away. You have tried various soft tissue therapies, and nothing seemed to work out. Introducing the Graston Technique.
Like acupuncture, dry needling, and other instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) techniques, the Graston Technique has been proven to effectively heal acute, chronic or post-surgical soft tissue injuries.
In fact, it has resolved 87% or more of all conditions treated.
Currently, there are 431 sports organizations who are taking advantage of this manual therapy on a regular basis. If you have any bodily pain that has been bothering you for months or years, the Graston Technique might be the last thing you want to hear.
What Is the Graston Technique?
The Graston Technique is a form of manual therapy that uses stainless steel tools to effectively locate and treat soft tissue injuries.
It uses some tools and a specialized form of massage or scraping techniques to break up dysfunctional soft tissues. The goal of the Graston Technique is to reduce or eliminate the pain caused by soft tissue injuries and to improve mobility.
The treatment can either be light or more aggressive, depending on the patient’s presentation and tolerance.
The Graston Technique is used across many disciplines such as chiropractic, osteopathy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and massage therapy, among others. It can also be used with other treatments like Shockwave Therapy and Medical Acupuncture.
What Is the Graston Technique Used for?
The Graston Technique is used to treat acute and chronic conditions such as the following:
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Cervical sprain or strain (neck pain)
De Quervain Syndrome
IT band syndrome
Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
Medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
Lumbar sprain or strain (back pain)
Patellofemoral disorders (knee pain)
Plantar fasciitis (heel pain)
Rotator cuff tendinitis (shoulder pain)
What Are the Benefits of the Graston Technique?
Soft tissue injuries are most likely going to form scar tissue due to the haphazard nature of the healing process of living tissues
The scar tissue itself does not cause any pain, but it can cause stiffness and thereby limiting the range of motion. The restrictions may contribute to chronic pain.
The Graston Technique can potentially:
Resolve chronic conditions thought to be lifelong
Reduce anti-inflammatory medication
Promote faster recovery
Decrease overall treatment time
What Tools Are Used in the Graston Technique?
There are six stainless steel tools used in the treatment with the help of cream or lotion.
These specially designed tools are used in two ways:
To scan all over the patient’s body to locate areas of restriction or fibrosis or scar tissue.
To break up the scar tissue.
These tools are dense, making it easier to locate abnormal tissue texture.
Also, these tools have rounded edges so you can guarantee they are safe to use on your body.
How Often Do I Need to Get the Graston Technique Done?
Normally, treatment is given to patients twice per week for a period of 4 to 5 weeks. Patients may or may not start to notice results by the third or fourth treatment.
Nonetheless, treatment duration varies. Acute injuries tend to respond quicker than chronic injuries. The longer the injury has been there, the longer it will take to recover.
For non-inflammatory conditions, it can be used on a daily basis.
Does the Graston Technique Hurt?
Like any other soft tissue treatments, the Graston Technique can be uncomfortable at times, but not beyond the tolerable level at all.
This treatment uses micro-trauma to stimulate an inflammatory response and trigger the self-healing ability of the soft tissue. The inflammation may last for 24 to 48 hours.
Is the Graston Technique Safe?
The Graston Technique is generally safe because it is a non-invasive and non-surgical procedure.
However, it is not for everyone with soft tissue injuries. This treatment should not be used for people with:
Open wounds and tumors around the soft tissue injury
High blood pressure
Complex fractures that are not yet healed
Pregnant women should also avoid this treatment if possible.
What Are the Side Effects of the Graston Technique?
Redness on the treated area during the treatment and minor bruising on the treated area after the treatment are completely normal side effects.
Nevertheless, patients are given specific recommendations upon discharge on how to better handle these instances.
Is the Graston Technique Right for You?
Only a Graston practitioner can tell you if the treatment is right for you.
A Graston practitioner has to check your medical history and discuss your case with you.
Each patient is treated differently based on his/her present condition.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you achieve your optimal health, Contact us or call us at (905) 265-006