Graston Technique was developed and refined with a strong emphasis on accelerating and improving the healing of soft tissue injuries. Since its inception, it has gained significant traction in the healthcare community. It revolves around an evidence-based method of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), combined with rehabilitative exercises to improve musculoskeletal function. Incorporating the use of six specifically designed stainless steel instruments, the clinician is assisted in the detection and treatment of soft tissue dysfunction.
The clinician begins by gently scanning the tissue with the instrument, gathering diagnostic information through texture and feedback from the patient. Injuries to soft tissue typically create an inflammatory response that can leave irregularities in surrounding areas. If the instrument is placed over these areas it may feel gritty or fibrous, as if you were “running your fingers across a gravel road”. Once identified, the clinician is able to utilize a combination of several strokes and instruments to treat the injured area. Each treatment is catered to the individual and their specific condition.
A typical Graston treatment involves four main steps: Warm-Up, IASTM, Stretching, and Exercise. For example, in treating a marathon runner with a quadriceps strain, the clinician would start by having the patient “Warm-Up” the tissue with an activity such as an isometric squat. Once the area in question has been stimulated, the clinician will begin “IASTM” with the specifically designed Graston instruments. The next step is “Stretching” which can be done independently or with the help of the clinician. In this case, the focus would be on the anterior thigh. Lastly, the clinician would instruct the patient to complete a high repetition, low load “Exercise” for the quadriceps muscle group, such as a seated leg press. Each step of this process complements one another and is what makes Graston Technique so unique and effective.
Graston can significantly aid in the treatment of tendinopathies such as golfers elbow and tennis elbow, fascial syndromes such as plantar fasciitis and IT band syndrome, ligament sprains such as ankle sprains or injuries to the MCL/LCL of the knee, entrapment syndromes such as thoracic outlet syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as post-surgical scar tissue, and edema reduction. It has been shown to increase fibroblastic activity, enhance blood perfusion, alter neural activity, and even increase stem cells to an area of concern. All of these result in more efficient, proper healing of tissue and a quicker recovery time for patients to return to the activities they love the most. Whether the condition is acute or chronic, Graston Technique has the ability to make a substantial impact through its multifaceted, specific approach.
For detailed information on Graston Technique from the organization, please visit the organization at Graston Technique.