Graston Technique vs. Active Release Technique: An Exploration in the Treatment of Tendinosis

Tendinosis, a chronic tendon injury characterized by degenerative changes, can have a debilitating impact on individuals. It’s often due to repetitive strains, micro-tears, and a lack of proper healing. Traditional treatment methods have largely centered around rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). However, in recent times, two therapeutic methods have gained prominence in treating tendinosis: the Graston Technique (GT) and the Active Release Technique (ART). This article delves into both techniques, analyzing their effectiveness.


  1. Graston Technique (GT)


The Graston Technique employs specially designed stainless steel instruments to detect and treat soft tissue fibrosis or chronic inflammation. GT is thought to break down fascial restrictions and scar tissue. The controlled microtrauma it induces is believed to promote an inflammatory response and thus accelerate the healing process.



GT can increase range of motion and decrease pain in patients with tendinosis. The technique allows clinicians to specifically locate areas of scar tissue and adhesions and apply targeted forces to break them down.



Some patients report discomfort during the procedure, and there can be short-term skin reddening or bruising.



– Davidson, C.J., Ganion, L.R., Gehlsen, G.M., Verhoestra, B., Roepke, J.E., & Sevier, T.L. (1997). Rat tendon morphologic and functional changes resulting from soft tissue mobilization. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 29(3), 313-319.


  1. Active Release Technique (ART)


ART is a patented soft tissue system/movement-based technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. It involves the practitioner applying manual pressure to a muscle while stretching it in a specific direction.



ART can effectively restore the smooth movement of tissues and release any trapped nerves or vascular structures. It can rapidly decrease pain and improve function.



The success of ART largely depends on the skill of the practitioner. In inexperienced hands, it might not be as effective.