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)
    • Fibromyalgia
    • 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.