Graston Technique: A Physical Therapy Treatment Technique to Decrease Pain and Improve Function

Dr. John R. Mishock, PT, DPT, DC

Graston Technique or Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM) a technique provided by Mishock Physical Therapy & Associates to help relieve pain, enhance soft tissue healing and improve patient function.

Following over-use or traumatic injury of soft tissues (muscle, tendon, and ligament) our body attempts to repair the damaged tissue by creating adhesions and scar formation, much like what happens following a scare or cut of the skin. However, often this scar formation is laid down in abnormal ways that reducing the healing tissues strength, flexibility, and durability. This lack of proper healing can lead to a slowed healing response or less resilient soft tissues that are apt to be re-injured.

The Graston Technique or IASTM uses stainless steel instruments to help diagnosis and treat dysfunctional soft tissue. When the physical therapist gently glides the tool on the injured area, the therapist and the patient can sense a granular, knotted or band like feel of the tissue. The tool actually amplifies the sense of touch, much like a stethoscope amplifies the sound of the heartbeat.

For treatment of the soft tissue, the instrument is used in a precise gentle way to “break up” the restrictions or adhesions in the soft tissue. Other manual therapy techniques (ART, myofascial release, mobilization, manipulation), stretching, strengthening and functional reconditioning exercises are then used to promote scar re-alignment and soft tissue fiber strength. This technique and other manual therapy techniques have been shown through scientific research to enhance healing of damaged soft tissues, reduce pain, and expedite return to work, sports, or everyday life.

The Graston Technique is currently being used by many professional and university sports teams, hospitals, clinics and work injury providers. Furthermore, there are a number of research studies demonstrating the techniques clinical efficacy.

More Common diagnoses that respond well to Graston Technique:

  • Cervical/Thoracic/ Lumbar sprain/strain
  • Wrist Tendonitis
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
  • Post Surgical Scars
  • Patellar Tendonitis
  • de Quervain Syndrome
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome
  • Sacroiliac Dysfunction
  • Medial/Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Achilles Tendon Pain
  • Ankle Sprains

If pain is limiting you from doing the activities you enjoy, give Mishock Physical Therapy a call for a Free Phone Consultation at (610)327-2600 or email your questions to Also, visit our website to learn more about our treatment philosophy, our physical therapy staff, and our six convenient locations in Gilbertsville, Skippack, Phoenixville, Barto, Limerick and Stowe at

Dr. John Mishock is one of only a few clinicians with doctorate level degrees in both physical therapy and chiropractic in the state of Pennsylvania.

New patient scheduling: 610-327-2600