What is the Graston Technique

By Rachel Long, PT, DPT

The Graston Technique is a specialized form of massage.  Skilled clinicians certified in the technique use a series of stainless-steel instruments to detect and treat fascial restrictions ( a layer of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber and muscle in place), as well as muscle and tendon dysfunction.  A proper warm up is recommended prior to administrating Graston for optimal effects and then is followed by exercise to maintain mobility gains from the technique.

What is the Graston Technique Used For?

By introducing small amounts of micro-trauma, the Graston Technique stimulates a local inflammatory response which leads to remodeling and repair of the affected soft tissues and encourages the healing process.  The instruments enable clinicians to treat soft tissue dysfunction with the specificity and depth needed to correct restrictions at the site of pain, and then to follow the body segments above and below the site of pain to find the and treat the cause.

Graston Technique Benefits

The specialized stainless-steel Graston Technique instruments allow for better identification of tissue restriction vs. palpation alone.  Just as a stethoscope is used to amplify a person’s heartbeat, the Graston instruments act as amplifiers to feel targeted tissue restrictions.  The Graston Technique can provide pain relief for strains, sprains, muscle spasms or joint stiffness.  Patients can get better faster and decrease the need for anti-inflammatory medications.

Graston Technique Complications

The Graston Technique has minimal and transient side effects such as localized swelling and bruising. (It is important to remember that the GOAL of treatment is to increase blood flow and inflammation!)

Can You Do the Graston Technique Yourself? 

The Graston Technique uses patented instruments that can only be purchased and used by trained professionals.  Proper warm up and follow up exercise prescription is essential for optimal and lasting results.

Is the Graston Technique Effective?

Yes!  The Graston Technique has had positive outcomes in 75-90% of all conditions treated and is equally effective in restoring function to acute and chronic injuries, and pre-and post-surgical patients.  The Graston Technique is an evidenced based treatment paradigm recognized and used by professional athletes, weekend warriors, and average Joe’s all around the globe.


  1. https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/graston-technique-instrument-assisted-soft-tissue-manual-therapy-back-pain=
  2. https://grastontechnique.com/patients/

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