Graston Technique is a procedure that detects and treats areas of soft tissue lesions or adhesions in muscles, tendons, and ligaments that can lead to pain and dysfunction. Graston Technique® can be used to treat any movement system dysfunction that has been determined to have a soft tissue component.
- During the healing process after an injury, our body attempts to repair muscles, tendons, and ligaments with “scar tissue,” much like the scar that forms on the skin when you have scraped or banged your knee. Scar tissue tends to be weaker and less flexible than normal, healthy, undamaged tissue. Scar tissue limits range of motion and in many instances causes pain, which prevents the patient from functioning as they did before the injury.
- GT uses specially-designed stainless steel instruments with unique treatment edges and angles to glide along a patient’s muscle, tendons, or ligaments. When knots or bands of scar tissue are encountered, both the clinician and the patient sense a restriction or a granular feeling from the instrument. The instruments enhance what the clinician’s hands can feel – substantially improving the ability to detect and treat soft-tissue dysfunctions. An unaided hand is hard-pressed to detect and break up as much scar tissue as the stainless steel instruments can.
- Non-invasive, GT allows the clinician to get as deep into the tissue as necessary to invoke change, yet be sensitive to patient pain and tolerance. As the instrument slides across the afflicted area, it pulls the adhered fibers to the side and releases them. Over time, this process will reduce or eliminate the adhered fibers, restoring motion and eliminating the pain associated with it. It rebuilds a soft tissue injury into healthy functioning tissue.
- Patients usually receive 1-2 treatments per week for a short duration that is determined based upon the patient’s response to care. Most patients have a positive response by the 3rd treatment. The average number of GT sessions per episode of care averages between 6-12 for more chronic conditions.
- GT is not designed to be painful or cause excessive bruising. Occasionally, minor discomfort during the procedure and some bruising afterward may be experienced. GT clinicians are trained to recognize these symptoms and adjust treatment intensity to minimize their occurrence while realizing the benefits of the technique.
- Most patients are able to function and continue to perform their regular functions at home, work, or play after treatment.
The concept of cross fiber massage is not new. Graston Technique® is grounded in the works of Dr. James Cyriax, a British orthopedic surgeon. The use of our specially designed instruments and protocol is new.
Graston Technique® has become standard protocol in universities and hospital-based outpatient facilities as well as industrial on-site treatment settings such as Indiana University and the University of Michigan. The technique is also being used at industrial settings and by NBA, NHL, NFL, and Major League Baseball trainers.