Benefits of Graston Technique


What is Graston and How Does it Work?

Graston is a patented and evidenced based form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). The Graston technique treatment uses stainless steel tools to detect over areas of dysfunction or adhesions in muscles, tendons and ligaments within the body that are thought to limit our range of motion and cause pain. When your physical therapist is using these tools to scan your body, you and your therapist may feel bumpy or “not so smooth” sensations through the tool over the areas of restriction.1 Discomfort, soreness, redness and bruising may be experienced during and up to 48 hours following this type of treatment. These symptoms are normal and can actually be a sign of healing and improvement, so it is important to stretch and ice as necessary to manage the discomfort.

To get the most out of Graston/IASTM treatments, dedication to daily stretching and strengthening as instructed by your therapist is vital to maintaining the improvements you’ve made. We also strongly recommend adequate water intake to support recovery and healing.  Graston treatments are relatively short, and come with many long-lasting benefits that you will begin to see in as little as two to three sessions.

What are the Benefits of Graston?

Soft tissue mobilization with Graston instruments can be used to treat muscle pain, tendinopathies, fascial syndromes, ligament pain syndromes, edema, scar tissue, and nerve entrapment syndromes. If you have any of these issues, this technique has four specific benefits:

  1. Speed up the healing process: moves stagnant blood and brings blood flow to the area of injury. This will stimulate a healing response that speeds up overall recovery time.

  2. Break up restrictions in connective tissue: releases scar tissue, muscular trigger points and dense connective tissue that can restrict movement and range of motion.  

  3. Decrease pain: shown to alter connective tissues in a positive way that releases painful restrictions, relaxes tense muscles, and reduces inflammation.

  4. Increase range of motion and improve overall function: soft tissue mobilization in combination with corrective exercises your therapist prescribes will help re-align fibers within fascia, muscle or other connective tissue. The technique allows tight muscles to relax and calm areas of chronic inflammation. The overall effect is decreased tissue density and stiffness which allows our body to move the way it was intended to.

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  1. Carey-Loghmani MT, Schrader JW, Hammer WI. Clinical Foundations for Graston Technique: Adapted from Graston Technique M1 Instruction manual. 2014 Graston Technique LLC. Revised July 22nd 2014.

  2. Hammer W. Effects of the Graston Technique on the fascial system. 2014 Graston Technique LLC. Revised September 2nd 2014.

  3. Portillo-Soto A, Eberman LE, Demchak TJ, Peebles C. Comparison of Blood Flow Changes with Soft Tissue Mobilization and Massage Therapy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2014;20(12):932-936. doi:10.1089/acm.2014.0160

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