Graston Technique for Plantar Fasciitis

Graston Technique for Plantar Fasciitis – Will this technique work to help you with your plantar fascia? And if it does, just how well does it work?

What is the Graston Technique?

The Graston Technique uses smooth metal objects made for specific body parts to massage scar tissue out. This technique is not only for plantar fasciitis, but is an entire system of using metal instruments to massage out your muscles and ligaments to increase healing time and joint motion.


Research on the Graston Technique began in Indiana in 1994 and the parent company began training medical specialists (chiropractors and physiotherapists) to incorporate the technique into their rehabilitation programs, the technique is currently taught in many schools around the country as an addition to their medical training.


What does it do for plantar fasciitis?

There are many techniques that focus on stretching the plantar fascial tissue (the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the calf and foot). This technique focuses on using metal instruments patented by the parent company “Graston Technique” .  During the Graston Technique- the clinician uses a smooth piece of metal to rub against the sole of the foot; as the device encounters “bumps”, the clinician can focus on them with the device to break up the scar tissue, free the tissue for normal movement. The patient then performs stretching and ice application afterwards. This is performed a few times a week.


Research (Does it Work?):

-There is research that suggests that this technique does work in other areas of the body, but there is no research done specifically for the plantar fascia.

-The problem with the plantar fascia is usually either the lack of stretching leading to tight ligaments that alter your gait, poor biomechanics due to other causes that need to be addressed  or something that is causing nerve irritation. The cause of plantar fasciitis is rarely scar tissue, but rather it is a symptom; thus treating scar tissue will not help plantar fasciitis. The Graston technique may never even have a chance to work the way it was intended to in other areas of the body, because that is not what is causing the problem, although it will definitely feel better after it is done.


Review of the Graston Technique as it applies to Plantar Fasciitis:

The idea behind it is good- but why go through all the trouble of booking expensive appointments to go through this if there are other treatments that probably work better. You can feel adhesions with your hand and there are many ways to massage them out at home that are cheaper.

The problem is that plantar fasciitis is rarely caused by just scar tissue; it is more of a symptom than anything else. Treating scar tissue will not help plantar fasciitis even if it does make the pain get better temporarily.

The Graston technique sounds like a good technique that makes sense on paper, but it is likely something that treats the symptoms rather than the cause of the condition.


Home Treatment:

Follow the techniques outlined in the painful foot arch section.