The Graston Technique is a method of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization. Clinicians who are trained and accredited in the Graston Technique use stainless steel instruments to assess and treat soft tissue dysfunction in patients with acute and chronic injuries.

The instruments serve both a diagnostic and treatment function. Clinicians use them to identify areas of restriction, fibrosis, or dysfunctional soft tissue. Once identified, treatment professionals can use the same instruments to help relieve pain and induce healing.

Graston Technique Tools

How does the technique work?

The clinician glides the specialized, dense, stainless steel instruments across the patient’s soft tissue. Abnormal tissue texture will be amplified across the instrument and into the clinician’s hands. Problem areas are easier to identify due to the wider scope of the instruments.

For inflammatory conditions, the Graston Technique will induce inflammation in injured areas to evoke a healing response from the body. Inflammation lasts about 48 hours, after which continued treatments will rework healed tissue and accelerate the healing process.

For non-inflammatory conditions, the Graston technique can be used to smooth soft tissue with abnormal texture and restore mobility.

Within the body, the Graston Technique works by:
  1. Separating and stretching soft tissue and muscle fibers
  2. Increasing blood flow and skin temperature
  3. Increasing cellular healing in problem areas

What does the Graston Technique treat?

Soft tissue injuries are the typical target injuries for the Graston Technique. Common problems treated with Graston instruments include:

  • Golfer’s Elbow
  • Tennis Elbow
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • IT Band Syndrome

However, many other injuries and medical conditions affect connective tissue. For example, arthritis may cause lesions in the soft tissue that surrounds the joints, causing excessive pain. Those lesions are treatable using the Graston technique.

Woman Holding Elbow In Pain

Is the Graston Technique uncomfortable?

The Graston technique is more comfortable than traditional hands-on therapy. The steel instruments spread the pressure from diagnostic manipulation across a larger area. Widespread pressure relieves tension without straining a focused area.

The stainless steel instruments also warm quickly with body heat. The treatment edges are very precise, which allows the clinician to treat the tissue much more explicitly than the average fingertip technique.

The first treatment and the following 48 hours will be the most uncomfortable. The targeted area of injury will likely be inflamed for a short period while the body begins healing.

The Graston technique is more comfortable than traditional hands-on therapy.

How long does treatment take?

Since no two injuries are the same, treatment times will vary by injury. The longer an injury is sustained, the longer it will take to recover.

Acute injuries respond quicker than chronic issues. Most treatments will take about 10 minutes. However, treatment extends beyond just tissue manipulation with the Graston instruments.

Patients must warm up with specialized exercises before treatment. Those undergoing therapy must loosen tissue that holds temporary tension so that clinicians can identify and treat underlying, permanent problems. The clinician will also direct patients to exercise after treatment to ensure maximum effectiveness of recovery.

How often will I be treated?

Most patients with minor trauma will receive 2 treatments per week over the course of 4 to 5 weeks. You will begin to notice results around the 3rd or 4th treatment. Patients with non-inflammatory conditions can be treated daily.

If you are having chronic pain or immobility issues, talk to your clinicians at Blue Tree Health.

Live in Austin TX? Learn how the Graston Technique can help you start healing today!