Graston Technique (GT) is a name-brand, evidence based, form of Instrument Assisted Soft-Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) which utilizes a set of six stainless steel instruments. Each instrument has a unique size, shape, and purpose that allows for conformity to different body surfaces resulting in effective treatment of soft tissue dysfunction. Their use can be applied to the muscles, tendons and ligaments for multiple reasons, including, but not limited to, edema pump (decreasing swelling and inflammation), breaking down existing scar tissue, re-instigating the body’s own tissue repair process, and encouraging the proper fiber orientation of tissue repair as it occurs.
GT brand instruments are particularly helpful in identifying and assessing myofascial strain patterns. The instruments magnify what the practitioner’s hands feel, similar to how a stethoscope amplifies the sound of a heartbeat. They can detect thickening, ridges, adhesions, fibrotic nodules, crystalline deposits, and scar tissue. Both the clinician and patient feel these as vibration sensations through the instruments. Since the surface of the instruments do not compress, like fat pads of the finger, deeper lesions are more accessible and treatable. In addition, due to the smaller surface area of the edges on some of the instruments, they can separate fibers and outline the anatomy more effectively (such as along the patella or scapula).
From a physiological stand point, GT therapy is highly effective in enhancing blood perfusion, increasing stem cells, and increasing fibroblastic activity (the building blocks of connective tissue such as muscle, ligaments, and tendons). All these effects positively impact healing making GT essential to soft tissue treatment for a variety of clinical indications such as: Tendinopathies, Fascial Syndromes, Myofascial Pain Syndromes, Ligament Pain Syndromes, Edema Reduction, Scar Tissue/Adhesions, and Entrapment Syndromes. Some of these conditions include but are not limited to: Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow), Medial Epicondylitis (Golfers Elbow), Supraspinatus Tendinosis, Achilles Tendinosis, Patellar Tendinosis, De Quervain’s Syndrome, Plantar Fascitis, ITB Syndrome, Trigger Finger, Chronic Compartment Syndrome, MCL/LCL Knee Sprains, Ankle Sprains, Postsurgical Scar Tissue, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Tension Headaches, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, and Ulnar Entrapment.