The Graston technique is a soft tissue mobilization therapy that was designed by an athlete named David Graston. This technique addresses scar tissue and claims to reduce the patient’s pain and increase their function of joints.
Who uses the Graston Technique?
The Graston technique is primarily used by chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers and some licensed massage therapists.
How is Graston Performed?
With the Graston technique, practitioners use six patented instruments to help assist with the breaking and releasing of scar tissue and fascia restrictions. These tools are designed from stainless steel and can detect and treat the areas of tenderness. Practitioners use these tools to feel for fibrotic tissue. Once the problematic tissue has been found, the instrument is then used to break up the scar tissue to release the tension.
With the Graston technique, the clinician is able to increase the rate of blood flow to and from the injured area, which claims to speed up the healing process. There is little scientific proof with regards to the effectiveness of this treatment.
Advanced Soft Tissue Release (ASTR) v. Graston
ASTR differs in that instead of only focusing on removing scar tissue, several aspects of treatment are addressed. Some of these aspects include fascia restriction, trigger points, muscle spasms, and more. ASTR is a noninvasive, virtually pain free treatment that believes you should NOT start the healing process over again. Starting the healing process again does not guarantee that the injury will heal better the second time around. Instead, by removing existing scar tissue, eliminating triggers that cause pain and inflammation, and retraining and strengthening the body can promote proper healing. ASTR’s goal is to aid the body in the healing process and work toward long-term relief. ASTR providers evaluate and treat the source of the problem instead of only addressing the probelm itself.*Information provided in the table is based upon therapist and patient interviews, information collected from the technique provider’s website, and video analysis of the treatment being performed.