What is the Graston Technique?

How was the Graston Technique Developed?

The Graston Technique was conceived by David Graston, an athlete who suffered a debilitating knee injury and was frustrated by his lack of progress using traditional methods for rehabilitation. However, the origin of this technique is quite a bit older. In fact, many patients naturally call Graston “scraping”, which is the name of the ancient technique that was used by “medicine men” in many cultures. Graston is a new take on an old remedy that works very well.  What makes it more effective than it was 100 years ago is that through engineering and design, the tools are created using specific angles, which increases therapeutic usage on specific areas of the body.

Clinical studies and research at Ball State University and Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana found that the controlled micro trauma induced through the use of Graston tools actually helped initiate healing. The structure of the tissue is rearranged, and damaged tissue is replaced by new tissue.  Healthy tissue forms an organized lattice much like a thick rope, which is made up of many smaller fibers.  Once the tissue is damaged, those small fibers become rearranged and turn into small knots. The Graston Technique acts much like an iron that goes into those small damaged fibers and straightens them out restoring an injured weak tissue to its proper strength. Clinical studies continue to document that Graston Technique generally results in better outcomes when compared to traditional therapies in resolving injuries that have failed to respond to other treatments.

 Do practitioners require certification?

Yes. Graston Technique is part of the curriculum at 49 respected colleges and Universities.  The certification is post doctorate work that a practitioner can participate in to achieve full certification.  Both Dr. Ho and Dr. Walker are certified and part of the GT Provider Network.

How do the Graston tools work?

The technique is delivered through the use of six hand held stainless steel instruments. A specially designed lubricant is applied to the skin to allow the instrument to glide over the tissue without causing irritation. The tool acts much like a stethoscope allowing the doctor to isolate adhesions and restrictions and then treat them with precision. The skin of damaged tissue will feel gritty or sandy under your skin; these are the adhesions on the muscle and fascia.  Graston has the advantage of penetrating tissue at a deep level much the same way a deep tissue or cross friction massage does, but with the added benefit of being more comfortable during the treatment process.

Does it hurt?

Patients may experience mild discomfort during the treatment and may also experience a bit of bruising. The bruising will look much like a small red area of dots. This is a common response from the body when a therapeutic process is taking place. Icing the area and rest should ease the discomfort. After you receive a treatment, gentle exercise will help to flush out any chemicals that are present in the body due to dysfunction and inflamed tissue. The exercise should be mild and not cause a great degree of discomfort to the treated tissue. Usually a 10-minute walk will do the trick.

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