Medieval torture device or therapeutic healing method? The Graston technique feels like a bit of both. Six stainless steel tools, in different shapes, sizes and bevels, were originally designed by David Graston for athletes as to treat acute and chronic soft tissue injuries. Designed to break up scar tissue and facial restrictions, these tools are utilized by chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists to stimulate the healing process. While I can attest the method is extremely effective, the scraping of a metal tool across inflamed muscles hurts like hell.
According to Dr.Peter Duggan, D.C., CSCS of Duke Chiropractic, our go-to resource for all sports injuries, “The tools pick up tissue differently than my hands. They are especially effective in treating sports injuries such as plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, Achilles, rotator cuff, calf and hamstring injuries.”
The curvilinear edges of the Graston instruments, combined with their concave/convex shapes, mold the to various contours of the body and catch on fibrotic tissue, which immediately identifies the areas of restriction. The instruments are then used to break up the scar tissue so it can be absorbed by the body. The pain one experiences is actually a small grade inflammation that is created which starts healing process.
For all us athletes, weekend warriors, or recreational sport and fitness enthusiasts who don’t want to be sidelined by nagging injuries, the Graston technique is a legitimate example of no pain no gain.