Graston Technique®: Decrease Pain and Improve Function

Written by admin on December 3, 2012 – 11:24 am -

Graston Technique® is an advanced form of soft tissue mobilization that utilizes stainless steel instruments to both detect and release scar tissue, adhesions, and fascial restrictions that occur in the body due to trauma or overuse. Originally developed in the 1990s, the Graston Technique® has become a tool for a wide variety of clinical and institutional settings including college and professional athletics.

During the healing process, our body attempts to repair damaged areas by creating scar tissue. Over time, this fibrous scar tissue builds up and can ultimately lead to pain and dysfunction because this replacement tissue is not as strong or flexible as healthy tissues. The Graston Technique® is designed to detect the build up of scar tissue, or adhesions. The instruments allow both the clinician and patient to find the areas of restriction and essentially “break up” those restrictive tissues. Most patients will receive a positive outcome within two to three treatments.

The Graston Technique® has been effective in a wide variety of conditions including but not limited to carpal tunnel syndrome, medial and lateral epicondylitis, IT band syndrome, back pain, muscle strains, and de Quervain’s syndrome. Most patients will feel better within two to three treatment sessions. A typical treatment session will consist of the following:

1. Warm-up

2. Graston Technique® Instrument-assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization

3. Stretching exercises

4. Strengthening exercises

5. Cryotherapy (cold pack)

The Graston Technique® is a manipulative treatment that utilizes significant force and pressure applied to the soft tissues, and as a result, possible side effects are likely to occur. Bruising is fairly common as the treatments will increase blood flow to the area. Soreness is common and develops within 24-72 hours after the treatment. The stretching exercises prescribed by the clinician will help decrease this soreness in the days after treatment. It is very important for the patient to maintain an adequate water intake. Appropriate hydration is essential in order to promote proper healing.

It is important to note that the Graston Technique® is just one part of the rehabilitation and treatment process. Successful outcomes will not be achieved with the instruments alone. Patient compliance with the necessary strengthening and stretching exercises is essential for positive outcomes.

Matt Rongstad is an Certified Athletic Trainer, Licensed in the state of NC. Matt is currently training in the GOSM Fellowship.

Dr. Galland is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in sports medicine practicing in Raleigh, NC. He serves as the team physician and orthopaedic consultant to the Carolina Mudcats, Cleveland Indians Single-A affiliate as well as many other local high schools and colleges. twitter@drmarkgalland.com.


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