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Understanding the the Graston Technique and Soft Tissue Mobilization

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   09/09/23


Did you know that around 40 percent of ankle sprains develop chronic symptoms? It can be frustrating if you've been injured and the pain won't go away.

Are you seeking therapy to help with pain, flexibility, and performance? The Graston technique could be the solution.

The Graston technique is used by a variety of healthcare professionals. It involves using stainless steel instruments to perform muscle mobilization. The goal is to identify scar tissue, muscle knots, and fibrous tissue causing pain and restricting movement.

The practitioner is then able to address these issues with the same tools. Sounds great, right? Keep reading to learn more about this technique and how it could help you.

Graston Technique Benefits

The Graston Technique helps people with pain and movement problems in their muscles and bones. It has many benefits for those who want relief. Let's dive into some of the key advantages it brings to the table.

Break Down Scar Tissue

The Graston Technique and soft tissue mobilization can break down scar tissue and adhesions. This can be especially useful for people who have had surgery or injuries. Scar tissue can restrict movement and lead to chronic pain.

These techniques help heal by targeting specific areas and using tools or manual pressure. They break up scar tissue and restore function.

Improve Blood Flow and Circulation

This technique can help improve blood flow and circulation in the treated area. Increased blood flow brings essential nutrients to damaged tissues, promoting faster healing processes.

It also helps remove metabolic waste products that may accumulate in injured or inflamed areas. Improved circulation translates into reduced inflammation, decreased pain levels, and enhanced overall recovery.

Address Muscle Tension

Another benefit worth mentioning is how this technique alleviates muscle tension. This therapy works by applying targeted pressure on muscle knots (trigger points).

This not only releases tension but also improves flexibility and range of motion. This aspect can greatly contribute to your well-being, whether you're an athlete or not.

Stimulate the Nervous System

The Graston Technique can also stimulate the nervous system positively through proprioceptive input. Essentially it sends signals to your brain about your body's position in space. This helps the body move better and prevents muscle imbalances that could lead to more injuries.

Pain Reduction

Along with the physical benefits, there is another important advantage: it reduces pain! Addressing underlying soft tissue dysfunctions using Graston Technique sessions regularly can help. For many patients, it effectively decreases overall pain levels by a significant amount.

How Does the Graston Technique Work?

In a session, a therapist uses special stainless steel tools to find and treat problems in soft tissue. The instruments are gently applied to the skin with strokes that feel like a deep massage. The therapist can find adhesions or scar tissue beneath the surface using this targeted approach.

When the instrument is moved over these problem areas, it causes small injuries in the tissues. This stimulation triggers an inflammatory response from your body's natural healing mechanisms. As a result, new collagen fibers begin to form and replace damaged tissues.

Over time, the Graston Technique can make scar tissue healthy and functional. It can also improve movement by breaking up adhesions between muscles or tissues.

Using these tools instead of just massage or stretching helps target problem areas precisely.

In addition to its mechanical effects on soft tissues, this technique also has neurological benefits. When pressure is applied, it stimulates receptors in your skin and tissues. These receptors send signals to your brain.

These signals then initiate neurochemical responses. The responses help decrease pain perception while increasing mobility and overall function.

Understanding how the Graston Technique works provides insight into why it is such an effective tool. You can improve your flexibility by using manual therapy techniques and precise instrument-assisted movements. These techniques stimulate mechanical and neural pathways in your body's healing process.

Limitations of Graston Technique and Soft Tissue Mobilization

The Graston Technique and soft tissue mobilization have many benefits, but they also have limitations. Knowing these limits can help control expectations and consider suitable treatment options.

Not Suitable for Everyone

The Graston Technique and soft tissue mobilization work well for some people, but not everyone. Open wounds, infections, fractures, or tumors may need different treatments in certain cases.

Discomfort During Treatment

During the Graston Technique, using instruments or manual techniques might cause discomfort. This can happen in sensitive areas or if too much pressure is applied.

Make sure to tell your therapist if you feel any pain during the session. They can make adjustments.

Time-Intensive Process

To see results with the Graston Technique, you usually need several sessions. This could be a problem for people who want fast relief from their symptoms.

Limited Evidence on Long-Term Benefits

There is evidence that the Graston Technique or soft tissue mobilization can reduce pain and improve range of motion. However, there is limited research on the long-term benefits. Further studies are needed to fully understand its effects beyond immediate results.

Specific Training Required

Practitioners must have special training to use the Graston Technique correctly. If not, they could cause harm.

They need to know how to use the instruments and apply the right pressure. Look for therapists with specialized training.

Cost Considerations

The cost of treatments like the Graston Technique can be higher depending on where you are and what healthcare coverage you have. Traditional therapies like physical therapy exercises or massage therapy alone may be cheaper.

Explore With Your Healthcare Team Whether the Graston Technique Is Right for You

The Graston technique can help with soft tissue injuries in a variety of ways. However, it's not right for everyone. If you're looking for relief from pain contact your healthcare provider to explore if it's the right option for you.

Keep in mind, that you'll want to work with a trained professional. Not every provider is able to perform this therapy. Are you looking for more ways to enhance your health?

Supplement Relief is here to bring you information you can trust. Keep reading articles from our blog and make sure to check out professional supplements!

headshot of Jay Todtenbier 2018

Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.

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