How is the Graston Technique used in Physical Therapy?

What is the Graston Technique?

In physical therapy there are different types of manual therapy techniques.  One such is the Graston Technique.  It is a type of manual therapy called Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Massage, or IASTM, that uses specialized stainless steel instruments that help to offer a targeted way to address soft tissue injuries and help speed up their healing time.  Each of these specialized instruments are specially designed for different areas of the body to find and treat areas of scar tissue, adhesions (areas of restricted blood flow), and fascial restrictions. The goal of the treatment is with each specific Graston tool coupled with different controlled levels of pressure and specific movements your physical therapist can effectively assist in scar tissue remodeling, improvements in blood flow, restoration of normal tissue function, and help to promote the body’s natural healing response. 

How does the Graston Technique work?

The Graston Technique helps to promote the body’s natural healing response by increasing blood flow to the area treated. What this does is speed up, or in some cases, start the process of delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to the affected area while assisting in removing cellular waste from the healing process.  Both of which speeds up the healing process for the damaged tissues, and improves the regeneration of cells.

Soft tissue injuries tend to lead to a restrictions in the surrounding fascia and tissue which can effectively reduce joint range of motion, further increase pain, and ultimately compromise functionality. While you are coming to physical therapy your physical therapist will identify the underlying tissue restriction.  Then by utilizing the appropriate Graston tool with varying amounts of pressure, stroke angle, and direction of the movement along your muscle we can improve your tissue mobility, reduce inflammation, and ultimately enhance your joint and muscle function. However, it all starts with understanding what your underlying issue is and that starts at your physical therapy evaluation!


The Graston Technique is very effective tool in physical therapy for the treatment of various conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, Achilles tendinitis, muscle strains, and other overuse injuries. Combining this technique within an individual’s physical therapy plan can help to optimize your results. If you are interested in seeing how getting Graston manual therapy would help benefit you, come into either our Bridgewater NJ or Chester NJ BeneFit Physical Therapy location and talk to a qualified trained physical therapist in this technique to help unlock your body’s healing potential!