Graston Technique/ A Unique Treatment For Pain

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Reported by: Charlotte Ames
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 @05:28pm EST

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If you have scar tissue after surgery or your exercise routine is making you sore, a type of massage therapy called the Graston Technique may help. Some health care providers use soft tissue manipulation to release/break up scar tissue and to relieve pain and restore function. One particular form of soft tissue manipulation is the Graston Technique®.

The cornerstone of the Graston Technique is a set of stainless steel instruments with smooth edges and various curves and contours. These instruments are used to find the cause of musculoskeletal pain, and to treat the source of the problem. Each of the instruments is designed to be used on specific areas of the body.

To locate the source of the pain, a therapist glides the edge of one of the Graston instruments over the skin. When the instrument moves over an area of scar tissue, the knotted or denser area of fibers act like a “speed bump” under the skin. The extra resistance creates reverberations that can be felt through the instrument to the therapist’s hand.

Frank Farkas, D.C., a Chiropractic Sports Physician in Tampa FL, says patients report also feeling a rope-like or gritty sensation when the instrument passes over scar tissue. Once the target area is identified, other instruments are used to treat the problem. Pressing down and gliding an instrument across the skin pulls on and breaks up the scar tissue fibers. The treatment also creates a minor amount of trauma, which increases blood flow to the area, pumps up fibroblasts and hopefully, promotes healing. After a therapy session, patients may experience temporary bruising and soreness.

Patients must follow an exercise and stretching program to improve and maintain flexibility and improve strength. Farkas says a single Graston treatment session takes about five to ten minutes. Most patients need 8 to 10 treatments, but often begin seeing an improvement in symptoms after about the third or fourth session. The treatments are usually not covered by insurance.

In his practice, Frank Farkas charges about $45 to $60 a session. The Graston Technique is only provided by trained practitioners. To locate the nearest provider, go to For information about the Graston Technique®, or to locate the nearest provider, go to