Posted in: Health & Wellness

The Graston TechniqueⓇ and You: A Match Made in Physical Therapy Heaven

Article at a glance:

The Graston Technique was developed in the 90s by amateur athlete David Graston. When David’s love of waterskiing led to a debilitating knee injury, a lack of rehabilitation progress after a resulting surgery, and an unbearable level of frustration, which prompted David to take matters into his own hands.

To what lengths would you go to treat a nagging (seemingly chronic?)  ailment? Would you use holistic medicine? Pay a small fortune? Cross state lines? Navigate a sketchy dirt road for a late-night visit to a garage owned by some guy known simply as “Speedway Jerry”? 

I imagine the answers to most – if not all – of the above questions are “probably not,” but injuries like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and tennis elbow can be such a literal pain that many would pull out all the stops just to get some relief. 

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This leads me to my next question… 

If you knew you had to endure some pain or discomfort for a short time to resolve these issues — or other soft tissue injuries — would you? 

While you may need a moment or two to weigh the potential pros and cons of this daunting decision, most patients who’ve been treated with the Graston Technique would say yes in a heartbeat. While “no pain, no gain” isn’t necessarily the core tenet of the Graston Technique, there is some merit to this adage that has stood the test of time in the world of sports. But to understand the why regarding those who both a favor and administer the Graston Technique for athletic recovery, we must first understand the what

So just what the heck is this infamous – and occasionally controversial – Graston Technique, and how can it help athletes like you?

What is the Graston Technique?

The Graston Technique was developed in the 90s by amateur athlete David Graston. When David’s love of waterskiing led to a debilitating knee injury, a lack of rehabilitation progress after a resulting surgery, and an unbearable level of frustration, which prompted David to take matters into his own hands. Using his background in machining to develop several metal instruments that David used to treat his soft tissue injury, he created the very first Graston Technique tools of the physical therapy trade. Through decades of collaboration with medical and research personnel, David Graston and his team developed a successful new way to treat soft tissue injuries with a similar set of stainless steel instruments. These tools are used to scrape, roll over, and massage inflamed areas of the body, generally providing lasting relief in three or four treatments.

I guess if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, right? 

Major props to the legendary David Graston for the lengths he went to improve his well-being, plus the money and fame he earned while doing it. I bet my chiropractor cousin, Jeff, would be fanboying SO hard in David’s presence. 

But why? What makes people like doctors, athletic trainers, and my cousin Jeff love this ingenious athletic recovery technique so much? 

The answer? Its efficacy. 

How does the Graston Technique work?

When soft tissue gets sore or injured, it causes muscle fibers to tighten and build up toxins, causing the patient pain or discomfort. With the Graston Technique, the trainer, chiropractor, doctor, or physical therapist (depending on whether you want to use more professions, you can also add Certified Athletic Trainers, Occupational Therapists, and Licensed Massage Therapists to this list of GT users) uses the patented stainless steel instruments and massage techniques to stretch and relax the muscle tissue. This helps increase blood flow and restore movement patterns in the injured tissue, thus resulting in less pain and quicker recovery for the patient. While many people who have had the Graston Technique performed upon them seem to deem it painful or uncomfortable during the procedure, the bottom line is that it works. But like many medical treatments, the Graston Technique is most efficiently used in conjunction with other practices designed to enhance mobility, flexibility, and blood flow, such as active stretching, strength and dynamic exercises, and kinesiology tape application. While a licensed professional should be consulted regarding which stretches and exercises to work into your treatment plan, anyone can buy and apply kinesiology tape to improve circulation and support muscles, joints, and ligaments, thereby accelerating the healing process.

CBD-Infused Kinesiology Tape & the Graston Technique

But why settle for any old brand of kinesiology tape when you could buy some infused with menthol and CBD that may speed up your healing process even further? SummaTape is, and does, exactly that, and it could change your workout recovery or physical therapy routine forever.

SummaForte’s SummaTape is a menthol and CBD-infused kinesiology tape that provides you with triple anti-inflammatory relief to help you perform better, recover quicker, and get back on the court or field sooner.. Using a transdermal delivery technology designed to mimic the skin’s elasticity and range of motion, SummaTape is meant to be applied strategically to the body to provide support, lessen exercise-induced inflammation, reduce swelling, and improve your athletic performance. SummaTape improves blood flow and provides nearly instant, direct relief to joints, muscles, and ligaments, as well as helps reduce inflammation.  Athletic trainers particularly like this since, by reducing inflammation faster, they can then use more aggressive treatments to get their athletes back to full performance again. 

So if you think that SummaTape would be the perfect complement to use between Graston Technique treatments to speed up the healing process, you’d be 100% correct. 

What does this all mean? It means that the next time you suffer a soft tissue injury, forget the holistic healing, pricey procedures, and late-night visits to Speedway Jerry (sorry Jerry, take it up with the Better Business Bureau). All you need is the right medical professional to work out those kinks with a little bit of that sweet, sweet Graston Technique and some soothing, SummaTape to get you back quickly to doing what you love most! 

Oh, and if you happen to see David Graston around, tell him Curt’s cousin Jeff says hi.