Written by Dr. Alyssa Clarkson
What is the Graston Technique?
The Graston Technique is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) that uses a metal tool to break up fascial adhesions and scar tissue. The goals of this therapy are to restore range of motion, eliminate pain and restore normal function. This technique can be used for chronic pain, acute pain and even for post-surgical conditions such as scarring or edema.
What conditions can be treated with Graston?
There are a lot of conditions that can be treated with Graston. Some of the most common are:
- Achilles Tendinitis (ankle pain)
- Chronic and Acute Ankle Sprains
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
- Hamstring Injuries
- IT Band Syndrome
- Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Medial Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Patellofemoral Disorder (knee pain)
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis (shoulder pain)
- Scar Tissue
- Post Surgical Scarring
- Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Edema (post-surgical)
Benefits of Graston
As you can see, Graston can be used for a variety of different conditions. The benefits of adding Graston into your treatment plan include a decreased overall treatment time, faster rehabilitation and recovery, reduced pain, improved function, and can resolve chronic conditions that were thought to be permanent.
Graston is recommended 2–3 times a week for approximately 4 weeks. Many patients see significant improvements after only a couple visits, but Graston is not a one-time treatment. It takes your body a little bit of time to heal itself and to break up the adhesions. Your manual therapist will have a treatment plan set out for you on your first visit and will explain how long it typically takes for your specific condition.
Potential Side Effects
While side effects are often mild, here are some that you should be aware of. The most common side effects include swelling, soreness to the touch and mild to moderate bruising at the treatment area. These side effects generally resolve in a few days. You can treat these side effects at home by applying ice to the area.