I’m always on the lookout for the latest in treatment methods that can help athletic performance and improve quality of life. Two relatively recent soft-tissue treatment methods are the Graston Technique® and the Fascial Abrasion Technique™, or FAT.
Graston, in my opinion, is rather harsh. I saw one individual who’d had the treatment, and it caused considerable bruising of the treated area. Of course, the practitioner may not have had enough experience with the method.
For those unfamiliar with the Graston Technique, the practitioner uses steel instruments to slide over adhesions and scar tissue to remove them (in theory). The problem is that such treatment is often accompanied by inflammation that will cause the release of growth factors that will form new scar tissue. This was a problem when Active Release® was first developed, as some practitioners would be too aggressive in their treatment. Often the individual would feel better for a few days but then would need another treatment as new scar adhesions and scar tissue formed. It’s a great business model, but a bad approach to treatment.
I prefer the Fascia Abrasion Technique developed by Dr. Mark Scappaticci. It’s a less aggressive method than the Graston Technique in treating fascia, and it’s extremely easy to learn. It’s great for any condition in which there is either restricted mobility or fascial tension. In fact, I recently invited Dr. Scappaticci to the Poliquin Strength Institute to personally train several of my PICP instructors on how to teach the technique.
By the way, Dr. Scappaticci is best known in the bodybuilding community as the individual who invented Scap Jacks, which is a method of increasing muscle fiber recruitment by simultaneously training an agonist and a contralateral antagonist (such as performing a biceps curl with the right hand and a triceps pressdown with the left hand).