Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to questions about Graston Technique here.
What conditions can be treated with the Graston Technique®?
GT-trained clinicians use GT instruments to effectively and efficiently address soft tissue lesions and fascial restrictions while treating acute and chronic conditions, including:
- Achilles Tendinitis/osis (ankle pain)
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
- Cervicothoracic Sprain/Strain (neck pain)
- Lateral Epicondylitis/osis (tennis elbow)
- Lumbosacral Sprain/Strain (back pain)
- Medial Epicondylitis/osis (golfer’s elbow)
- Myofascial Pain Syndromes
- Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
- Plantar Fasciitis/osis (foot pain)
- Post surgeries such as joint replacements, RTC repairs (once post-surgical protocol allows for soft tissue
- mobilization/manual therapy)
- Rotator Cuff Tendinitis/osis (shoulder pain)
- Scar Tissue/post-surgical scars (once completely closed)
- Patients demonstrating central and/or peripheral sensitization (only used in light stroking/brushing mode to desensitize)
- Shin Splints
- Trigger Finger
- Women’s Health (post-mastectomy and Caesarean scarring)
Graston Technique® can be used to treat any movement system dysfunction that has been determined to have a soft tissue component.
Is Graston Technique® an Evidenced-Based Form of Manual Therapy?
Empirical and anecdotal evidence exists for the following physiological effects of GT:
- Separates and breaks down collagen cross-links, and splays and stretches connective tissue and muscle fibers
- Facilitates reflex changes in the chronic muscle holding pattern (inhibition of abnormal tone/guarding leading to pain reduction via improved sensory input)
- Alters/inhibits spinal reflex activity (facilitated segment)
- Increases the rate and amount of blood flow to and from the area (angiogenesis vs. immediate local increases in blood flow)
- Increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts and mast cells
- Increases histamine response secondary to mast cell activity
Why is scar tissue a problem?
Scar tissue limits range of motion due its negative impact on sensory motor firing rates and frequencies. Abnormal sensory inputs perpetuate a dysfunctional cycle of nervous system sensitization, pain and dysfunctional movement/motor output. GT offers a positive method of manual therapy that interrupts and breaks this cycle of pain and dysfunctional movement.
Is Graston Technique® something new?
The concept of cross fiber massage is not new. Graston Technique® is grounded in the works of Dr. James Cyriax, a British orthopedic surgeon.
How is scar tissue different from other tissue?
When viewed under a microscope, normal tissue can be organized in a couple of different fashions: dense, regular elongated fibers running in the same direction, such as tendons and ligaments; or dense and loose, irregular with fibers running in multiple directions. In either instance, when tissue is damaged, it will often heal in a fibrotic, haphazard manner and may appear radio-dense under diagnostic ultrasound. The tissue may show thickening, irregular organization or less precise margins as compared to non-injured tissues, which results in a restricted range of motion and, very often, pain and functional limitations.
What kind of results does Graston Technique® produce?
Historically, the Graston Technique® has had positive outcomes in 75-90 percent of all conditions treated. It is equally effective in restoring function to acute and chronic injuries, pre- and post-surgical patients and maintaining optimal range of motion.
Will GT treatments affect my everyday activities?
Patients that have progressed beyond the acute stages of inflammation and repair are often encouraged to resume a pain-free level of activity and exercise with the modifications that are determined by their GT-trained health professional. GT is designed to be implemented with appropriate therapeutic exercises and activities to achieve an ideal outcome.