Sunday, August 19, 2012

Graston Technique

What is Graston Technique?

Graston is a form of soft tissue mobilization using stainless steel tools. The tools are extension of the practitioners hands and allow identification of areas of restriction or adhesion and work to reduce and hopefully eliminate those restrictions in the soft tissue to facilitate healing.

I have been using Graston for a little over a year now on my patients and it has really helped me become a better practitioner by opening up a whole other skill set that I previously neglected. Not that I magically cure everyone by simply touching them with my magic
wand(s), but I have gotten favorable results using Graston, especially on ITBand friction syndrome. Hey wait, isn't that what she has been whining about for months now that has prohibited her from running?!?! Why yes, yes it is. I said it helped a lot of people, I am just not one of them :(

So why the boring lecture about Graston and what it does and didn't do for me? Well, as a runner you are most likely to get injured at some point. Comforting thought. So I just wanted to let you know that there are treatment options out there besides rolling around on one of these.
I recently got an email from the Graston people who eagerly, in the mist of the Olympic hoopla, wanted to share that Michael Phelps had talked about having Graston done to him and tauted it's benefits. So if Phelps uses it, you can to. Don't be afraid of the tools. They sometimes get a bad rap because they allow for deep penetration (insert joke here) into the soft tissue (and another one here) and can sometimes lead to this... 

This is my leg and yes I did that to myself. I am not a sadist, I haven't read 50 Shades of Grey, there just isn't a lot of soft tissue between the skin and the ITB and the one place on the body that gets bruised with Graston is this area. It didn't hurt but man it was ugly. 

Currently, I am working with a nice young lady  who is plagued by ITB problems and I am happy to say after about 6 treatments she is doing much better and is starting to run again. Me on the other hand,  it's getting better, slowly. But, my ITB problems aren't because of any restriction, they are because of my horrible heal strike. You can read about that here. But hopefully with a little revamping of my running style I will be able to get back to running painfree sooner rather than later! 


  1. Could Graston help my ITBS. Mine is caused by tight glutes and hamstings. My glute on the rigt side is horrible!! I have been going to someone who does ART and it just does not seem to be working. BTW- what do you do for your job?

  2. Usually ITB is caused by a couple of things, tight ITB, weak hip external rotators and hip extensors. Are you sure it’s because you are tight in your glut. Not saying that your gluts aren’t tight, but it just sounds unusual. Is it your piriformis (a hip external rotator) that is tight and not the glut itself? Anyway, Graston, like ART is a form of soft tissue mobilization. I’m not very familiar with ART but if you had a restriction in you ITB I think the ART would have helped that. Have you tried strengthening too? Also, I swore that my ITB was b/c I had weak hips, etc….but it’s my running form. It’s hard to judge yourself until you actually see yourself run. I was floored. I never thought I was a heel striker. Hope that helps and that you are running pain free again soon! Oh and besides torching people with my Graston tools, I do sports and orthopedic rehab for a living.

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