Graston Technique

The Graston Technique®, originally developed by athletes, is changing the way clinicians — including physical and occupational therapists, hand therapists, chiropractors and athletic trainers — and patients view treatment of acute and chronic soft tissue injuries.

Graston Technique® is an innovative, evidence-based form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables clinicians to effectively break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. The technique utilizes specially designed stainless steel instruments to specifically detect and effectively treat areas exhibiting soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation.


What is Graston Technique®?

Unlike the literal hands on approach of Active Release Technique® (ART), Graston Technique® uses six metal instruments to stroke the soft tissues in order to locate and diminish areas of adhesions and scar tissue.


How does Graston Technique® work?

Graston Technique® is successful in effectively treating all soft tissue conditions, whether they are chronic or acute and post surgical. The Graston Technique® offers many advantages to the patient such as:

  • Decreases overall time of treatment
  • Fosters faster rehabilitation/recovery
  • Reduces need for anti-inflammatory medication
  • Resolves chronic conditions thought to be permanent


The Technique

  • Separates and breaks down collagen cross-links, and splays and stretches connective tissue and muscle fibers
  • Increases skin temperature
  • Facilitates reflex changes in the chronic muscle holding pattern
  • Alters spinal reflex activity (facilitated segment)
  • Increases the rate and amount of blood flow to and from the area
  • Increases cellular activity in the region, including fibroblasts and mast cells
  • Increases histamine response secondary to mast cell activity



Depending on the sensitivity of the tissues, treatment can be uncomfortable and may even result in a small amount of bruising as the instruments are making contact with the skin as they break up scar tissue below the surface of the skin. Treatment sessions will be approximately 15 minutes. Depending on the tissue tolerance, treatment will be administered 2-3 times a week. A marked improvement should be noticed with in 4-6 visits.

Dr. McKay has been using Graston Technique® on clients for several years with good success. It is designed to work on the soft tissues and Dr. McKay has found it to be particularly helpful on structures that are superficial and may not tolerate the use of other methods (ART) to loosen them up.

In Dr. McKay’s experience, injuries that appear to react well to Graston Technique® are tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, trigger finger, achilles tendonitis, iliotibial band syndrome and shin splints.

Below is a complete list of injuries that can be treated:

› Cervical sprain/strain (neck pain) › Lumbar sprain/strain (back pain)
› Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (wrist pain) › Plantar Fasciitis (foot pain)
› Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow) › Medial Epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow)
› Rotator Cuff Tendinosis (shoulder pain) › Patellofemoral Disorders (knee pain)
› Achilles Tendinosis (ankle pain) › Fibromyalgia
› Scar Tissue › Trigger Finger
› Shin Splints