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Graston Technique Reviews


Tony Gentilcore just put up a blog post about 'Graston Technique' soft tissue massage

I was strongly considering giving it a go; does any body have any experience with this form of massage i.e. compared with ART, sports massage etc.

(I'm aware effectiveness ultimately depends on the practitioner)


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BBB what would you consider the king of soft tissue work methods? I only have experience with ART and foam rolling/ball rolling. The ART works really great but the effects seem to dissipate after 2 or 3 days if the muscle wasn’t hurt from acute injury.


It’s gonna hurt if you have a lot of scar tissue and tightness, but try to relax. Stressing and tightening up will only make it hurt more.

The treatment did make my knee and neck feel better.


The ART guy I go to typically will use his Graston tools instead. He use to do Graston on players for an NFL team.

He has done Graston on my lower back before and it definitely broke up some scar tissue. I found it pretty effective. I had so much blood flow in my back after this, my lower traps were quite literally swollen. It was cool.

I have had him also do it on my foot for plantar fasciatis and on my finger to try and relieve some swelling from surgery. Graston on the foot worked. Not so much on the finger though…

I would say give it a try. I agree with BBB, I feel like my doctor is great at ART and Graston, but his other services are lacking. Typically I go in there, do some stim work on my lower back, some stretching, and go home. From now on I am going to request Graston or ART only so I get the most of my money.


coolnatedawg, how big was the scar tissue in your back?
I recently had to give up lifting because i have HUGE scar tissue buildup in my traps that i think might have come from years of improper lifting long time ago. Been going to get some hands on massage therapy (trigger point and deep) to break them up but they are the size of a tangerine (one in each trap) and the masseuse was stumped. Maybe graston might help…


I have had the luxury of having both ART and Graston performed and have to say that you can’t really go wrong with either or. I am a Certified Athletic Trainer and actually just finished the Module 1 course and am now competent in Graston. I plan on taking Module 2 to become “Graston Certified” as well. I know it wasn’t asked, but I’m sure some people are wondering which is better, ART or Graston. It is really difficult to say which is better since they both provide benefits to patients. I will say that from my experience as a patient of Graston/ART and as a Graston practitioner, Graston will be able to cover a larger area with greater ease, but the ART can be more spot specific with its treatment. Not to say that Graston can’t be spot specific or ART can’t cover a larger area, but generally it easier for Graston to cover a larger area. Also, there are just some areas that the Graston tools are just uncomfortable for treatment, but a thumb works great with ART. Each has their positives and negatives, but both give great results.

I do agree with what BBB said in that some Graston/ART practitioners are only good at that one thing, but this is why you find a great all around practitioner, not just any Graston/ART practitioner. I find the best practitioners combine a mixture of both hands on and tool treatment. When I took the course, we were actually taught some hands on techniques to include with our Graston Tool treatment. Generally, if you go to a therapist who is only hooking you up to stim or giving you ultrasound, giving a quick stretch and sending you on your way, or just giving a Graston/ART treatment and not following it up with anything, you need to find another therapist. Graston/ART will work best when combined with ROM work, rehab/muscle activation work, and proper exercises for restoration to tissue tensile strength, length, etc.

Sorry for the rant and length of the post but I hope it helped. Definitely willing to answer any other questions people have.