Graston FAQs


Graston Technique Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Graston Technique?
Graston Technique is a unique, evidence-based form of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation (or massage) that enables practitioners to effectively and efficiently address soft tissue lesions and facial restrictions resulting in improved patient outcomes.  

GRASTON TECHNIQUE uses specially designed stainless steel instruments with unique treatment edges and angles to deliver an effective means of manual therapy. 

The use of GRASTON TECHNIQUE instruments, when combined with appropriate therapeutic exercisers, leads to the restoration of pain-free movement and function. The Instruments are also used diagnostically to assess the kinetic chain, in an efficient manner using the principles of regional interdependence.
Is Graston Technique an evidence-based form of manual therapy?
Empirical and anecdotal evidence exists for the following physiological effects of GRASTON TECHNIQUE :
  • Separates and breaks down collagen cross-links, and splays and stretches connective tissue and muscle fibres.
  • 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 can scar tissue be a problem?
Scar tissue can limit range of motion due to its impact on sensory motor firing rates and frequencies. Abnormal sensory input perpetuates a dysfunctional cycle of nervous system sensitisation, pain and dysfunctional movement/motor output. GRASTON TECHNIQUE offers a positive method of manual therapy that interrupts and breaks this cycle of pain and dysfunctional movement.
How is scar tissue different from other tissue?
When viewed under a microscope, normal tissue can be organised in a couple of different fashions: dense, regular elongated fibres running in the same direction, such as tendons and ligaments; or dense and loose, irregular with fibres 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 organisation or less precise margins as compared to non-injured tissues, which results in a restrictied range or motion and, very often, pain and functional limitations.
Is Graston Technique new?
The concept of cross-fibre massage is not new. Graston Technique is grounded in the works of Dr James Cyriax, a British Orthopaedic surgeon. The use of our specially-designed instruments and protocol has been a recognised part of the manual therapy industry for more than 25 years.

Graston Technique has become the standard protocol in many universities and hospital-based outpatient facilities in the US. The technique is also being used within the professional sports industry by the NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball trainers.
Can anyone use the Graston instruments?
Graston Technique is a multi-disciplinary modality and can be practiced by the following AHPRA registered practitioners:
  • Chiropractors
  • Osteopaths
  • Podiatrists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners 
  • Medical Physicians
  • Dentists
  • Students in their final year of study in one of the above disciplines. 
What conditions can be treated with Graston Technique?
Graston Technique trained practitioners use GRASTON TECHNIQUE Instruments to address soft tissue lesions and facial restrictions while treating acute and chronic conditions, including: 
  • Achilles Tendinitis/osis (ankle pain)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain)
  • Carvicothoracic 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-surgery protocol allows for soft tissue mobilisation/manual therapy)
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis/osis (shoulder pain)
  • Scar Tissue/post-surgical scars (once completely closed)
  • Patients demonstrating central and/or peripheral sensitisation (only used in light stroking/brushing mode to desensitise)
  • Shin Splints
  • Trigger Finger
  • 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.
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