Sidekick massage tools?

Has anyone tried sidekick massage tools that you can use on yourself? I’ve heard them advertised on Carrie Tollefson’s podcast and was especially curious about their scraping tools.

My physical therapist has used these tools as part of treatment for an issue with my adductor. She traced the method back to something called the “Graston technique”. She uses just one tool (which I call the “butterknife of pain”) in several different areas. It leads sometimes to light bruising and skin abrasion, even with a lotion or oil underneath, and can be a little painful, but I have experienced no longer-term downsides and welcome it as another part of the therapeutic toolkit. I put it in the same category as foam-rolling – not the same as that, but another practice to consider, may or may not work for you.


@gvanloon sometimes uses these tools for therapy as well. My understanding is that there isn’t really that much that’s special about the tools—anything with an appropriate edge should work (though finding just the right edge might be tricky).

I believe the general principle comes from gua sha massage from China; the Graston Technique is a proprietary scraping approach with specific tools and instructions.

My take is that it’s unlikely to be problematic as long as you’re careful (if you’re doing it yourself) or if you’re working with an experienced therapist. The research I’ve seen is rather inconclusive as to its benefits—most of the cited studies didn’t test it repeatedly or use control groups that received similar (but less aggressive) massage.