In time, we can have a build up of this fibrous scar tissue, particularly
in the muscles, tendons and ligaments that get a lot of use. This can lead
to pain and dysfunction because this replacement tissue lacks the strength
and flexibility of healthy tissue (in some areas it may even mat down and
entrap a nerve).
The Graston Technique® allows us to better detect and treat these areas
because it uses a stainless steel instrument that glides along a patient’s
muscle, tendons or ligaments, with the right amount of pressure to detect
just where the scar tissue or restrictions are located.
How is scar tissue different from other tissue?
Normal tissue can vary from dense, regular elongated fibers
running in the same direction, such as tendons and ligaments or it can be
dense, irregular and loose with fibers running in multiple directions. In
either case, when tissue is damaged it will heal in a haphazard pattern--or
scarring--that results in a restricted range of motion and, very often, pain
associated with movement.
How Does the Graston Technique Work?
When these knots or bands of scar tissue are encountered, both the
clinician and the patient sense a restriction, almost like a speed bump or a
granular feeling. The instrument can then be used to "break up" this
restriction or adhesion. Stretching exercises are used to promote
re-alignment of the fibers into the normal pattern of healthy tissue.
How are the instruments used?
Trained practitioners use the stainless steel instruments to comb over
and "catch" on fibrotic tissue, which immediately identifies the areas of
restriction. Once the tissue has been identified, the instruments are used
to break up the scar tissue so it can be absorbed by the body.
Is the treatment painful?
It is common to experience minor discomfort during the procedure and some
bruising afterwards. This is a normal response and part of the healing
Is Graston Technique® used alone?
The protocol includes a brief warm-up exercise, Graston Technique®
treatment, followed by stretching, strengthening and ice. Other therapies
such as chiropractic may be used in an overall program to get you back to
How often should the treatments be done?
Patients usually receive two treatments per week over 4-5 weeks. Most
patients have a positive response by the 3rd to 4th treatment. In most
cases, there is no "downtime" and you can continue to perform your regular
functions at home or work. Graston Technique® gives back the control that is
often lost when injury strikes.
Is Graston Technique® something new?
The concept of cross fiber massage is not new. Graston Technique® is
grounded in the works of Dr. James Cyriax, an English orthopedic surgeon.
The use of the specially designed instruments and protocol is new.
Graston Technique® has become standard protocol in universities and
hospital-based outpatient facilities as well as industrial on-site treatment
settings such as Indiana University and the University of Michigan. The
technique is also being used at industrial settings and by NBA, NHL and
major league baseball organizations.
What kind of results does Graston Technique®
Graston Technique® has been shown to improve or resolve 87% or more of
all conditions treated. It is equally effective on restoring function to
acute and chronic injuries, and pre- and post-surgical patients.
Can anyone obtain the instruments?
Only clinicians who have been trained and accredited in the Graston
Technique® are qualified to obtain the Graston Technique® instruments and
apply the technique to treat patients.