Graston Technique

Author: Meghan Guydash

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What is Graston Technique?

Graston technique is a specific form of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM).  IASTM is a treatment technique used by various therapists such as Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and Massage Therapists that works to assess and treat fascial restrictions in the body using specially shaped instruments.

When we are healing from an injury, our bodies will create scar tissue. Scar tissue lays down in a more haphazard way than original tissue.  This tissue may be thicker and less organized which can lead to decreased range of motion, feelings of restriction or tightness, and pain.

Graston technique is one method that your Physiotherapist may use to help you recover and normalize following an injury.  When this method is used, the therapist will run the stainless steel instrument over the skin to first identify any areas of restriction or scar tissue and then use the instrument to break up that restriction. 

How does Graston help?

  1. Improves blood flow
  2. Boosts the body’s immune response to the area
  3. Improves abnormal tone in the muscle
  4. Breaks down scar tissue
  5. Decreases sensitivity to hypersensitive tissue

What types of injuries can you treat?

Graston technique can assist with treating a variety of conditions, some examples being:

  1. Postural pain
  2. Myofascial pain
  3. Tennis/Golfer’s elbow
  4. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  5. Tendinopathy
  6. Rotator cuff pain
  7. Anterior knee pain
  8. Plantar fasciitis
  9. Trigger finger
  10. Scar tissue

Does it hurt?

Graston technique can have some level of discomfort during treatment, but your therapist should be able to modify the amount of pressure applied to accommodate your tolerance.  Harder doesn’t always necessarily mean better!  You may experience some light bruising after your treatment and your physiotherapist can advise you on how best to manage this. 

If IASTM is something you are interested in, discuss it with your physiotherapist to determine if it is something that will help progress your recovery and help towards your rehab goals. 

Meghan Guydash
Physiotherapist at Pivotal Physiotherapy

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