Graston Technique

by Amy O Donnell, DC, board-certified chiropractic physician

Over time, many of us develop poor movement patterns or overuse issues, which may lead to pain and/or limited motion. Often, patients think that this pain is arthritis. However arthritis may not be the correct diagnosis.

Over time, many of us develop poor movement patterns, which may lead to pain and/or limited motion. In some cases we can overuse areas of the body, which may also cause pain or limitation. Often, patients think that this pain is arthritis. However arthritis may not be the correct diagnosis. Instead, the cause may be a soft tissue dysfunction resulting in lack of mobility.
Graston Technique (GT) detects and treats scar tissue and adhesions in muscle, ligaments, tendons and fascia that develop as a result of overuse, injury, and poor posture. These adhesions represent tissue that is laid down in a haphazard way and forms fibrotic, hard micro nodules which are not as elastic as the healthy tissue, leading to pain and dysfunction, or lack of movement.

Six patented stainless steel instruments aid in the detection of adhesions or scar tissue. They act as a kind of soft tissue stethoscope. The instrument actually picks up a gravel-like grittiness or speed bump in the tissue. These uneven textures within the fascia become the focus of the treatment, hence breaking down those nodules. Heat, ice or ultrasound is often used before Graston Technique to soften and prepare the tissue. Rehabilitative exercises aid in resolving the problem by strengthening the area and preventing future injury.

The protocol for Graston Technique is usually two treatments per week for 2-4 weeks, depending on the case. Most patients have a positive response within 2-3 treatments and are able to perform their regular activities at home or work. GT decreases overall time of treatment, fosters faster rehabilitative recovery, reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication, and resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent. Some bruising and soreness can occur which can be controlled with ice and/or stretching.

For more information, please watch this video.