Graston Technique for Plantar Fasciitis

The Graston technique is a non-invasive treatment for soft-tissue injuries, especially when inflammation is present. It helps with arch pain and breaks up adhesions in the damaged and inflamed arch. This technique also improves blood flow and encourages healthy tissue regeneration.

Keep reading to understand the Graston technique better, its benefits, and how it works. Also, you will learn how this technique help with the Graston technique.

Graston Technique: what is it?

Do you enjoy playing sports? Are you a sports fan? Do you always deal with heel pain? Then, probably you have heard of the Graston technique for plantar fasciitis. 

Graston technique uses a stainless-steel instrument. This soft-tissue therapy helps treat chronic pain and reduce inflammation. It is also referred to as a scraping technique.

This instrument-assistant soft-tissue technique, used on adhesions or tight muscles, brings new blood flow and facilitates healing. It is highly effective in treating tendon, muscle dysfunction, and fascial restrictions.

How does Graston technique work?

How does Graston technique work

In the Graston technique, a licensed physician will use small stainless-steel instruments to apply targeted and progressive pressure to the plantar fascia.

As pressure is applied to the targeted area, adhesions in the damaged and flamed arch are broken down. This improves blood flow and encourages healthy tissue regeneration.

What are the benefits of the Graston technique for plantar fasciitis?

Graston therapy has lots of similarities to other therapies dedicated to plantar fasciitis that all work to break up adhesions while promoting blood flow to the injured plantar fascia. Other therapies used for relieving fasciitis pain include shockwave therapy and dry needling.

According to some people with plantar fasciitis, this highly targeted pressure therapy provided significant pain relief after a few days or weeks. This is because of the improved blood flow and broken-down scar tissue and adhesions. Scar tissue breakup is a critical phase in healing plantar fasciitis.

Adding Graston therapy to plantar fasciitis treatment help reduce the recovery time. It improves rehabilitation and reduces the use of anti-inflammatory medication.

Here are the top benefits of getting the Graston technique for plantar fasciitis:

1. Reduced Pain

The Graston’s scraping action helps reduce inflammation and then promotes good blood circulation. With the new blood flow, there are new oxygen and cells that help in the healing process.

This technique also helps remove waste and get rid of inflammatory chemicals. This makes the technique effective for pain therapy.

2. Great for Chronic, Acute, and Post-Surgical Conditions 

Graston technique is helpful for plantar fasciitis and other inflammatory conditions. It is also great for chronic and post-surgical conditions that result from scar tissue buildup because of limited motion.

3. Restoration of Normal Function and Range of Motion 

Inflammation, pain, and scar tissue can lead to limited movement. And you will agree that movement is everything, right?

Without movements, you will have stagnant blood. Graston technique treats inflammation, pain, and scar tissue by restoring motion and normal function. This technique mainly focuses on conditions affecting muscles and tendons.

Since this technique is widely used, stainless-steel instruments have become available in all sizes and shapes. So, dealing with plantar fasciitis is not an issue.

4. Faster Recovery 

The Graston technique’s effectiveness results in a faster recovery time. It takes less amount of treatment time than usual.

Healthcare professionals recommend home therapies to speed up recovery, encourage proper healing, and reduce scar tissue formation. Supports and braces are sometimes recommended for a particular situation. If you are interested in braces, check out our top 6 picks for the best plantar fasciitis braces.

What are other clinicals conditions that can be treated with Graston technique?

Aside from plantar fasciitis, below are other conditions treated with Graston therapy:

  • Lower back pain 
  • Neck pain 
  • Trigger finger 
  • Scar tissue 
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis 
  • Golfers elbow 
  • IT band syndrome 
  • Achilles tendonitis 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 

What should you expect with Graston technique?

Graston technique introduces you to the saying, “no pain, no gain” – a little bit. Graston Technique for Plantar Fasciitis and other clinical conditions is very useful.

In most cases, the area requiring this technique is riddled with trigger points or scar tissue, often causing discomfort when worked on or rubbed. In short, you can experience uncomfortable feel with Graston therapy.

On the other hand, some people who tried this therapy have had an “it hurts but it is good” feel.

The Gua Sha is the Graston technique’s origin. In Chinese, the term “Gua” means to rub or scrape, while “Sha” refers to the reddish dotted-petechiae, a word used to describe the area’s blood stasis. 

Graston being Gua Sha’s successor literally means to scrape for blood stasis. A bruising or red dotted petechiae takes place in the treated area as a side effect.

However, the Graston technique should not be painful. It must be performed at a tolerable and comfortable level to break up the scar tissue. If this technique is performed aggressively, you will experience excessive pain. It can also slow down the repair process where the area is loaded with inflammation rather than speeding up the recovery time.

This technique normally lasts a few minutes for every region or area. While the stainless-steel instrument slides across the soft-tissue fibrotic area, you may experience a sandpaper-like or bumpy feel.

Mild swelling and redness may develop, mainly after the first few sessions. As mentioned earlier, bruises or small petechiae may develop, and ice therapy is helpful in limiting inflammation, pain, and bruising.

After 4 to six visits, patients can notice significant changes. You have to wait a little longer to experience significant changes for severe or chronic cases.

Weekend warrior athletes, triathletes, and runners often benefit from this technique. Many patients notice less tenderness, sandpaper, and bumpiness around the affected area throughout treatment.


Plantar fasciitis is a debilitating condition. Stabbing and sharp pain are experienced under the foot, and your first few steps are very painful in the morning. So, there is no wrong if you will add the Graston technique to your treatment options.

If you feel like your foot are vibrating then click on this link to read out the whole guide.

If you think the results could be better with night splints, feel free to read our content about plantar fasciitis night splints for a better understanding. We wish you good luck in relieving your heel pain!

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