What is the Graston Technique?

The Graston Technique is a modern way to detect and treat areas of chronic inflammation or soft tissue fibrosis (scar tissue). Based on the concept of cross fiber massage, clinicians use specially-designed stainless steel instruments to locate and break up the scar tissue that causes the problem, greatly improving the patient’s range of motion and reducing pain.

Healthy Tissue vs. Injured Tissue

In a healthy body, soft tissue can have two different looks. Tendons and ligaments, for example, are dense, regular, elongated fibers running in the same direction. Other soft tissue consists of dense, irregular and loose fibers running in multiple directions. When either type of tissue is injured, the tissue heals itself in a hapazard way causing scar tissue, which severly limits range of motion and often causes pain.

Inflammation occurs when the body tries to heal itself and attempts to keep the injured section separate from the rest of the body. Inflammation is a natural part of the healing process but chronic inflammation indicates a more serious problem or injury.

The Graston Technique Protocol

The Graston Technique protocol is the same no matter what type of soft tissue injury is present. Treatment consists of a brief warm-up exercise, the Graston Technique treatment, stretching, strengthening, and ice.

To perform the Graston Technique, clinicians drag specialized instruments over the painful area of the patient’s body and try to “snag” or “catch” the scar tissue. Once the scar tissue has been identified, different tools are used to break up the fibrotic tissue, which is then reabsorbed into the patient’s body.

Treatment generally consists of two visits per week for at least 4-5 weeks. Since every body is different, the length of treatment varies based on the patient and the severity of the problem. The treatment process can be uncomfortable for some patients and may even cause bruising but many patients report feeling better by the 3rd or 4th treatment.

The Graston Technique Training and Certification

Only certified clinicians can purchase the Graston Technique instruments and there are multiple certification classes held throughout the year in various locations. These are hands-on training sessions where the clinicians use these patented instruments on each other and learn how to successfully integrate the Graston Technique into the full spectrum of physical rehabilitation.

Many clinical studies have documented the success of the Graston Technique, especially when compared to traditional therapies. The Graston Technique has also been shown to repair injuries that did not respond to other traditional therapies. Historically, the Graston Technique has shown positive outcomes in 75-90% of all conditions treated.

As always, do some of your own research into different treatments and be proactive with your healthcare by asking questions. No question is stupid when it comes to your health.

The Score Clinic is a San Jose-based alternative health clinic specializing in the art of healing through physiotherapy, chiropractic, rehabilitation, massage therapy and exercise. Our dedicated staff is ready to create your individual treatment plan and to answer your questions.

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