Kinetic Sports Rehab Blog

Graston Technique for Tennis Elbow Relief

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Graston Technique for Tennis Elbow Relief

There is a form of sports therapy available which is growing in popularity among athletes, CrossFit enthusiasts, and anyone else whose daily life involves strenuous activity.  This is the Graston Technique.  Despite being a newer kind of massage therapy to be developed, the Graston Technique in Seattle has had an explosion of popularity due to its ability to treat sports-related injuries, such as Tennis Elbow.

About the Graston Technique

graston-technique-seattleThe Graston Technique is related to the more commonly-known Active Release Therapy, and is based on the same fundamental idea.  When people work out, their muscles and tendons sometimes tear without properly re-healing, leaving a mass of painful and inflexible scar tissue behind.  This mass is sometimes also referred to as an adhesion.  These treatments seek to break up those masses of scar tissue, allowing the soft tissue underneath to heal properly.

What makes the Graston Technique different is its use of specialized tools to aid the massage therapist.  These tools, made of custom-crafted stainless steel, allow the practitioner to be able to feel beneath a patient’s skin and muscles with more accuracy than just their hands allow.  This, in turn, makes it easier to locate the tissue adhesions, as well as providing a precision tool for breaking them up.

About Tennis Elbow

seattle-graston-technique-for-tennis-elbowTennis Elbow is the common name for a condition otherwise known as lateral epicondylitis or lateral epicondylalgia.  The condition is a repetitive motion injury, caused through overuse of the elbow in a swinging motion.  It is most commonly seen among players of tennis and other racquet-based sports, as well as people in professions that involve repetitive lifting such as table-waiting or construction.

The most common cause of tennis elbow is an accumulation of unhealed tears on the extensor tendon which controls extension of the elbow.  These tears form adhesions, limiting both the range and the strength of the tendon, inhibiting movement.

Common Symptoms of Tennis Elbow

Tennis elbow is usually expressed simply through moderate-to-severe pain when the patient attempts to extend their arm fully.  There is also usually tenderness around the elbow itself.  It can also lead to wrist pain during activities such as pouring a jug of milk, or lifting items with the palm facing down.  There may even be pain during gripping actions, like shaking hands or turning a doorknob.

Left untreated, tennis elbow can turn into a chronic condition that degrades a patient’s quality of life.

Why Use the Graston Technique for Tennis Elbow?

Currently, there are few truly effective techniques for treating tennis elbow.  While surgery may be used in extreme cases, generally the only recommended treatments involve rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammation medications, and massage therapy.  This is what makes the Graston Technique in Seattle perfectly suited for helping to treat tennis elbow.

Since the Graston Technique focuses on finding painful adhesions on muscle and tendon tissue, it can deal with adhesions that standard massage therapies cannot find and treat.  By going directly to the cause of the condition, the Graston Technique can speed healing and help prevent relapse.

How the Graston Technique is Performed for Tennis Elbow

Generally, a Graston Technique therapist will attempt to break up the adhesions using what is known as a “cross friction” massage technique, rubbing against the grain of the muscle.  This lateral force helps break up the adhesions, and also increases blood flow to the affected muscle area.


This application of the Graston Technique is then combined with massage and stretching activities aimed at restoring range of motion to the affected tendon.  Since those suffering from tennis elbow tend to favor their arm, the condition can be complicated by a lack of activity in the tendon.  Restoring blood flow and stretching it out allows the tendon to resume a more normal level of activity more quickly.

These procedures are followed across several sessions, generally two per week, until the adhesion is fully eliminated.  While there may be some mild discomfort during the Graston Technique in Seattle sessions, generally nothing more than ice and over-the-counter pain medication is needed for after-treatment.

Start Graston Technique in Seattle today at Kinetic

Tennis elbow is one of the most common ailments that can be treated with Graston Technique, and also one of the easiest. Anyone suffering from tennis elbow who has not found satisfaction from other forms of sports therapy may want to call our Graston Technique in Seattle practitioners for help in curing their injury.  Call (206) 547-0707 or schedule your appointment and start recovery therapy today.

About Kinetic Sports Rehab Chiropractor, KineticSR (58 Posts)

Kinetic Sports Rehab in Seattle offers an alternative to traditional sports physical therapy through functional rehabilitation treatment. Focusing on soft tissue manipulation via active release technique, graston technique, and chiropractic, Kinetic delivers cutting edge physical therapy alternatives for sports injuries, whiplash and car accident injury, and work related injuries.

Kinetic Sports Rehab
701 North 36th Street SeattleWA98103-8868 USA 
 • (206) 547-0707

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