3 roles the Graston Technique® can play in treating soft tissue injuries

Graston Technique

Soft tissue refers to muscles, tendons and ligaments. Injuries to these areas are the common injuries seen by doctors and physical therapists. Sprains and strains are common soft tissue injuries; sprains affect a ligament, while strains affect a muscle or tendon.

Here are some common soft tissue injuries:

  • Contusions (bruises).
  • Achilles tendinitis.
  • Tendinitis of the shoulder.
  • Tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis).
  • Golfer’s elbow (medial epicondylitis).
  • Pulled hamstring or quadriceps muscles.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome.


To help you recover from these injuries, a physical therapist may employ the Graston Technique.


What is the Graston Technique?


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

This technique is used to treat muscle, tendon, ligament and other connective tissue disorders. This treatment is a type of “myofascial release” because it targets the fascia — the thin layer of connective tissue covering your muscles.


3 ways to treat soft tissue injuries with Graston Technique

The Graston Technique is a unique form of manual therapy that uses specialized tools to detect and treat areas of soft tissue dysfunction. There are several ways this technique can play a role in treating your injury:

  1. Detecting trigger points — Graston Technique practitioners use their hands to detect and help release trigger points in the soft tissue. Trigger points are located in muscle and fascia. They are generally tight, tender spots that can be painful when compressed or in motion. In addition to causing pain during activity, they can also cause referred pain. For example, trigger points in the gluteus medius (on the lateral hip) can cause pain at the hip and down the leg.
  2. Breaking up scar tissue — Graston Technique practitioners utilize stainless steel instruments designed to glide over muscles, tendons, and fascia to detect areas of scar tissue or adhesions (bands of thickened tissue). If a patient has an old injury that didn’t wholly heal or if they’ve had surgery, scar tissue is likely to form as part of the healing process. This scar tissue can tighten a muscle or tendon and eventually cause pain or decreased range of motion.
  3. Increasing circulation — The Graston Technique breaks up adhesions in soft tissue, which helps restore range of motion, reduce pain, and increase circulation to the injury site itself. Increased blood flow brings nutrients that help speed healing and remove waste products that accumulate in injured areas.


Do you have a soft tissue injury? Panther Physical Therapy can address it with the Graston Technique

Were you involved in a car accident or suffered a sports injury? Are you experiencing pain and limited movement from scars or adhesions? Come in for a free screening and to learn how the Graston Technique can help you. Our physical therapists are trained and experienced in this method.


Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.