At Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, we use the latest therapies, such as IASTM and the Graston Technique, to help you or your loved one recover from injury, restore lost movement or increase physical performance. No matter your age or level of ability, our physical and occupational therapists provide targeted exercises and interventions to get you back to an active life as quickly as possible.

What is IASTM and the Graston Technique?

IASTM is a soft tissue treatment, or manual therapy, that utilizes various tools to help better mobilize the soft tissue structures, such as muscles and fascia, and also provide input into your brain and nervous system, which can aid in pain reduction and improve function. IASTM includes a variety of instrument-based treatments, including cupping, Hawk Grips, Fascial Abrasion Technique (FAT) and Graston.

The Graston Technique, a method within IASTM, uses six stainless-steel tools to find and target scar tissue and encourage movement and mobilization in injured areas. The rounded-edge tools are rubbed against the grain of the injured tissue to promote healing and blood flow.

Graston is very popular in the United States, and is often used in conjunction with other IASTM methods. Although many of the underlying treatment principles in Graston are the same as other IASTM methods, such as Fascial Abrasion Technique, Graston differs from other soft tissue techniques, such as Active Release, in that a tool is always used rather than manual pressure or physical stimulation.

IASTM and the Graston Technique: How Do They Work?

When you arrive at Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, a trained member of our physical therapy staff will examine you and assess your needs. If your condition indicates, the therapist may choose to utilize IASTM or Graston to assist in managing your pain, addressing any range of motion loss or improving your movement capability. 

Using the Graston Technique, a therapist will first apply lubricant and then move stainless-steel instruments across your skin, targeting areas of concern. The stainless-steel instruments create friction against the scar tissue. You may experience post-treatment redness as a result of the movement across the scar tissue. This temporary redness is attributed to increased blood flow and tissue warmth to the area, which works to aid in overall healing and mobility. You may experience post-treatment redness as a result of this, which temporarily helps increase in blood flow and tissue warmth.

Using the stainless-steel instruments, your therapist can also target tissues to help increase mobility and promote changes in your movement capability. After the treatment, your therapist will discuss home instructions and will likely provide you with a list of exercises to reinforce the positive changes until your next visit.

Benefits of IASTM and the Graston Technique

IASTM and the Graston Technique are excellent methods of rehabilitation for athletes of all ages and skill levels – from triathletes and pro sports players to amateur athletes.

IASTM has been shown to be an effective treatment for a variety of muscle and tendon injuries, as demonstrated by recent research and publications. These reviews found that IASTM therapies, including the Graston Technique, were able to reduce pain, improve soft tissue function and restore range of motion. 

At Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, our physical therapists are well-equipped and trained in IASTM methods including the Graston Technique. Keep in mind that aggressive soft tissue techniques on acute (or previously irritated) tissue and areas such as open wounds or tendonitis may not be the best treatment. During your initial assessment, our staff will walk you through treatment options and make the best recommendation based on your pain and symptoms.

Return to Your Daily Routine with Physical Therapy at Memorial Hermann

To learn more about IASTM and the Graston Technique, and to find out if this type of treatment is right for you, use our online ScheduleNow tool for an initial evaluation or contact us using the form below. Don’t let injuries keep you out of the game – schedule your initial physical therapy evaluation today.

Ready for Relief?

If you’re interested in finding relief through physical or occupational therapy, the therapists at Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation are here to help. Request an initial evaluation appointment by filling out the form below or calling (713) 521-0020 or (888) 301-8477.


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