Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2020, Page: 31-37
An Analysis of Graston Technique® for Soft-Tissue Therapy
James McKivigan, School of Physical Therapy, Touro University Nevada, Henderson, Nevada, United States
Gina Tulimero, School of Physical Therapy, Touro University Nevada, Henderson, Nevada, United States; Synergy Physical Therapy, Henderson, Nevada, United States
Received: Oct. 11, 2020;       Accepted: Oct. 26, 2020;       Published: Nov. 11, 2020
DOI: 10.11648/j.rs.20200504.11      View  117      Downloads  29
The Graston Technique® of Soft-Tissue Therapy (GT), also known as instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), is used by chiropractors, physicians, and therapists to manage pain and range-of-motion limitations caused by scar tissue and musculoskeletal injuries. The GT treats tissue injuries and pain by separating scar tissue and producing heat, which increases blood flow to the areas affected by pain or trauma. This paper provides a systematic review of the research published on the GT, focusing on its efficacy and patient outcomes. It introduces and explains the GT and provides a detailed description of the therapeutic procedures used to alleviate pain and improve range of motion. It then provides a comparative meta-analysis of over 15 empirical studies that have examined the GT’s effectiveness for a wide variety of tissue injuries. The GT is becoming increasingly popular, as patients do not need any medication and can fully recover with physical therapy after only a few weeks of treatment. The results from this meta-analysis suggest that patients show clinically significant improvement when the GT is combined with physical exercises, thus providing an important basis for holistic yet non-invasive treatment plans that can help patients recovering from traumatic injuries, muscle strain, or spinal and back pain.
Graston Technique®, Soft-tissue Therapy, Chiropractic, Muscle Strain, Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization, Range of Motion, Pain Management
To cite this article
James McKivigan, Gina Tulimero, An Analysis of Graston Technique® for Soft-Tissue Therapy, Rehabilitation Science. Vol. 5, No. 4, 2020, pp. 31-37. doi: 10.11648/j.rs.20200504.11
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Garrett, T. R., & Garrett, J. C. Graston Technique® as a treatment for patients with chronic plantar heel pain. Clinical Practice in Athletic Training. 2019. 2 (3), 22-34.
Moon, J. H., Jung, J. H., Won, Y. S., & Cho, H. Y. Immediate effects of Graston Technique® on hamstring muscle extensibility and pain intensity in patients with nonspecific low back pain. Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2017. 29 (2): 224-227. https://doi: 10.1589/jpts.29.224
Stanek, J., Sullivan, T., & Davis, S. Comparison of compressive myofascial release and the Graston Technique® for improving ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion. J Athl Train. 2018. 53 (2): 160–167. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-386-16.
Biskovich, K. Physical therapy corner: The Graston Technique® and treatment of soft tissue dysfunction. Journal of Orthopaedics for Physician Assistants. 2013. 1 (1), 40. https://doi: 10.2106/JBJS.JOPA.15.00014
Cheatham, S. C., Lee, M., Cain, M. & Baker, R. The efficacy of instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization: A systematic review. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2016. 60 (3): 200–211.
Lee, J. H., Lee, D. O., & Oh, J. S. The effect of Graston Technique® on the pain and range of motion in patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016. 28 (6): 1852–1855. https://doi: 10.1589/jpts.28.1852.
Kim, J., Sung, D. J., & Lee, J. Therapeutic effectiveness of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization for soft tissue injury: Mechanisms and practical application. J Exerc Rehabil. 2017. 13 (1): 12–22. https://doi: 10.12965/jer.1732824.412
Loghmani M. T., & Warden S. J. Instrument-assisted cross-fiber massage accelerates knee ligament healing. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 2009 39 (7): 506-15. https://doi: 10.2519/jospt.2009.2997.
Lee, J, Young, A, Erb, N. J, Herzog, V. W. (2020). The acute and residual effects of IASTM and roller massage stick on hamstring range of motion. Journal of Allied Health. 49 (1): 51E-55E (5).
Looney B, Srokose T, Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Cleland JA. (2011). Graston instrument soft tissue mobilization and home stretching for the management of plantar heel pain: A case series. Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy. 34 (2): 138-42.
Nazari G, Bobos P, MacDermid JC, Birmingham T. (2019). The Effectiveness of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization in athletes, participants without extremity or spinal conditions, and individuals with upper extremity, lower extremity, and spinal conditions: A systematic review. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 100 (9): 1726-1751.
Gulick D. T. (2014). Influence of instrument assisted soft tissue treatment techniques on myofascial trigger points. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 18 (4): 602-7.
Strunk R. G., Pfefer M. T.., Dube D. (2014). Multimodal chiropractic care of pain and disability for a patient diagnosed with benign joint hypermobility syndrome: a case report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 13 (1): 35-42.
Solecki T. J, Herbst E. M. (2011). Chiropractic management of a postoperative complete anterior cruciate ligament rupture using a multimodal approach: A case report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 10 (1): 47-53.
Crothers A, Walker B, & French S. D (2008). Spinal manipulative therapy versus Graston Technique® in the treatment of non-specific thoracic spine pain: Design of a randomized controlled trial. Chiropractic and Osteopathy, 16 (1): 12-12 (1).
Hammer, W. I., & Pfefer, M. T. (2005). Treatment of a case of subacute lumbar compartment syndrome using the Graston Technique®. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 28 (3), 199-204.
Daniels C. J., Morrell, A. P. (2012). Chiropractic management of pediatric plantar fasciitis: a case report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 11 (1): 58–63.
Walker E., Hernandez A. V, Kattan M. W. (2008). "Meta-analysis: Its strengths and limitations". Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 75 (6): 431–9.
Schaefer, J. L., (2009). "The effects of a randomized four-week Graston instrumented-assisted soft tissue mobilization (GISTM) dynamic balancing-training program on individuals with chronic ankle instability". Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 2781.
Rhyu H. S., Han H. G. Rhi S. Y (2018). The effects of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization on active range of motion, functional fitness, flexibility, and isokinetic strength in high school basketball players. Technology and Health Care. 26 (5): 833-842.
Aspegren, D., Hyde, T., & Miller, M. (2007). Conservative treatment of a female collegiate volleyball player with costochondritis. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Theraputics. 30 (4): 321-325.
Browse journals by subject