Graston Technique®

Treatment for Soft Tissue Injuries

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The Graston Technique ® is a highly recommended method of treatment for soft tissue injuries – “scar tissue”. It works to break down scar tissue and help encourage the tissue to heal properly.


grastonWhen normal tissue is damaged, it heals in a haphazard pattern: like a messy knot. This is called ‘scarring’ and results in a restricted range of motion. Many people will also experience pain, as well as that “crackling” or “grating” feeling when the scar tissue is rubbed.

The patented stainless steel instruments used for the Graston Technique ® have been uniquely designed to release (break down) those tight and restricted soft tissue – and helps encourage the tissue to heal in their healthy pattern again.

This technique works so effectively, in fact, that results are noticed by the 4th treatment, and full benefits are usually seen around the 12th to 14th treatment. Patients are also able to take part in their usual daily activities during this time.


Most common conditions the Graston Technique ® treats:

  • * Achilles Tendinitis
  • * Ankle Sprains
  • * Plantar Fasciitis
  • * Cervical Pain
  • * Low Back Pain
  • * Tennis Elbow
  • * Fibromyalgia
  • * Hip Pain
  • * Hamstring Strain
  • * Rotator Cuff Tendinitis
  • * Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • * Wrist Tendonitis

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Graston Technique ®?
The Graston Technique ® uses a set of special, patented stainless steel tools to break scar tissue down. Think of scar tissue like a hair knot, and the tools are the brush. This helps relieve scar tissue pain, and often full range of motion can be restored.

How It Works
• Separates and breaks down the mess of scarred tissue, and stretches the connective tissue and muscle fibers out into a healthy position
• Increases skin temperature, which warms the tissue up and promotes healing
• Triggers the tissue to heal in the proper holding pattern
• Alters spinal reflux activity (facilitated segment)
• Increases the rate and amount of blood flow to and from the area
• Increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts (type of cell found in connective tissue that secretes collagen proteins; these are used to maintain a structural framework for many tissues and play an important role in healing wounds) and mast cells (cells that play an important protective role as well, being intimately involved in wound healing)
• Increases histamine response secondary to mast cell activity (this is triggered with inflammation of the injured tissue)

How does scar tissue form? Why is scar tissue a problem?

Scar tissue forms when your muscle is injured. This usually happens in one of three ways:


1. Your muscle tears from an injury
2. Repetitive use of the muscle (playing a sport, for example) results in small tears in the muscle fiber
3. Your muscle is held in tension for long periods of time (like bad posture, or working at a computer). Because the muscle is held tight, blood can’t get to all parts of the muscle; muscle not receiving oxygen dies.

Scar tissue forms in a haphazard pattern unlike the other tissue, and therefore gets in the way. This diminishes your range of motion and flexibility; often, scar tissue will prevent you from achieving the same movements you did before your injury.

How are the instruments used?
The Graston Technique® instruments are specially designed stainless steel tools that allow your doctor to ‘comb’ your muscles. Any ‘catch’ will let the doctor know there is an adhesion. By rolling the instruments back and forth with the appropriate movement and pressure, the scar tissue can be broken up and the tissue will have the opportunity to heal with better positioning. In most cases, this allows you to experience full range of motion again.
Is the Graston Technique ® painful?
It is common to experience minor discomfort during the procedure and some bruising afterwards. This is a normal response and part of the healing process.
How many Graston Technique ® treatments are needed before seeing results?
It varies greatly from patient to patient, but most see a positive response by the 3rd or 4th treatment. The frequency of treatments, and the number of treatments required will depend greatly on the injury.
Will treatment affect my day to day activities?

Most patients continue to perform their regular functions at home or work without any trouble.

Yes, you'll have homework when you get Graston Technique ® treatments...

Your doctor will give you a series of stretches to do after your Graston Technique ® treatment. These are especially important since the treatment will have effective broken scar tissue down, and on-going stretches help that tissue heal in the direct “alignment” to avoid the same scar tissue build up.

The Graston Technique ® is usually coupled with other's why:

The Graston Technique ® treatment is usually coupled with the following therapies:

  • * Manual manipulation/adjustments
  • * Ultrasound therapy
  • * Assisted stretching

These therapies are used in conjunction with the Graston Technique ® because they support tissue healing in the proper pattern.

Can the Graston Technique ® Help Your Pain?

Connect with our health centre and our doctors will help determine whether the Graston Technique ® is the right therapy to target and treat your injury and pain.

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