Beaupre M1, Tassoul T1, LeMire P1, Elsing M1, Braun SI1, Stow RC1. Effects of the Graston Technique on Overhead Throwing Velocity in Collegiate Baseball Players. 1Departmnet of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI, USA.
Introduction: Graston Technique (GT) is a form of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) that utilizes stainless steel instruments to allow clinicians to detect soft tissue adhesions in a precise manner. This form of IASTM is currently used as a therapeutic modality and has not been formally utilized as a performance enrichment instrument. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of GT on the overhead throwing velocity of baseball players. Methods: Nine collegiate club baseball participants (18-22 years) were involved in a total of eight 30-minute treatment sessions (GT group), while six participants were assigned to the control group. The study had a timespan of four weeks with treatments occurring twice a week with a minimum of 48 hours between sessions. Treatment sessions consisted of 10 minutes of hot pack application over the dominant posterior shoulder, 8 minutes of GT followed by glenohumeral (GH) stretching in the motions of external rotation (ER), internal rotation (IR) and horizontal adduction. Results: The two-way repeated measures ANOVA indicated significant interaction (group x time) effects on throwing velocity, ER, and IR (p < .05). Therefore, paired samples t tests were employed, which indicated no change in throwing velocity from baseline (M=30.786; SD=4.323) to posttest (M=30.657; SD=3.972) among GT group, while significant decrease was shown among control from baseline (M=32.644; SD=2.307) to posttest (M=34.277; SD=1.744). No change in IR occurred among GT group, while significant increase observed in control from baseline (M=62.56; SD=12.095) to posttest (M=85.00; SD=16.086). Both GT and control groups increased ER from baseline to posttest. Conclusions: Use of GT may prevent a decrease in throwing velocity in apparently-healthy baseball players. It would be of interest to examine the impact of GT on throwing during the season among overhead throwers with chronic GH conditions.