Graston is one member of a family of manual therapies which use instruments that scrape over the skin. It aims to remove tissue restrictions, break down scar tissue where it is present and improve blood flow.
It is very similar to Gua Shaw, a treatment used in traditional Chinese medicine, in which shells or other objects are scraped over the skin.
Other members in this family of “instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization” include tools made of ceramics or plastic.
Graston tools are stainless steel. There are six of various size and edging. The smallest can work on little areas such as around the Achilles tendon or the fingers and toes. The largest can cover the thigh or back.
It is used to treat a myriad of conditions, from Achilles tendinopathy in the ankle to neck pain.