Scar tissue often heals in a way that causes issues such as pain, reduced mobility and muscle dysfunction. There are two types of scars, hypertrophic scars and keloids which can result in poor functionality of the tissue.
A good example of scar tissue causing issues is after abdominal surgery such as C-sections, hernia or any surgery where they have to cut through the layers of the abdominal muscles. After abdominal surgery, formation of internal adhesions can often occur which bind tissues together in abnormal locations. These adhesions can bind the visceral organs to other tissues of the abdominal and pelvic wall, causing such problems as bowel obstruction, low back pain, dysfunctional abdominal wall (the abs don’t work to support the spine) and decreased mobility.
When you undergo surgery, the surgeon cuts through all 4 layers of the abdominal wall. When the incision heals, scar tissue is laid down and these 4 layers become anchored together. What this means is that the abdominal muscles that flex the spine are now anchored to the muscles that rotate the spine and the muscles that support the spine, making it hard for them to work independently. This is not a good thing as the deep layer of the abdominal wall is meant to support the spine when the belly button draws in. If the deep layer is anchored to the outer layer, there will be no support to the spine when the belly button draws in and in fact when the belly button draws in you may flex the spine. This basically leaves the spine unprotected causing low-back pain, incontinence and other issues in the pelvic region.
Other types of surgery, fractures, sprains, and even cuts can lead to injured tissues that cause scar tissue.
4 Reasons You Should Work on Scar Tissue
Once scar tissue develops, it is important to begin working on the scar tissue as soon as possible to break up these adhesions. Be sure to check with your physical before working on scar tissue as you do not want to start working on it before the wound is healed. Typically this is 6-8 weeks after surgery.
Breaking up scar tissue helps with:
1. Decreasing pain in the area
2. Improving strength in the muscles
3. Improving range of motion in surrounding joints and muscles
4. Improving muscle function
How to Work on Scar Tissue
What do I use to massage my scar?
Start massaging your scar a few minutes every day with organic helichrysum oil, young living PanAway or rose oil. These oils can be expensive, but they work! I like Original swiss aromatics, young living (Use my member number to order young living at a discounted price, 1322248) and snowlotus. Mix these oils with a good carrier oil such as organic Rosehip oil.
3 methods I use for breaking up scar tissue are:
1. Cross fiber massage – Rub perpendicular to the scar in quick deep motions. I usually do 5-10 strokes in one section and then move to the next section.
2. Cork screw massage – using your thumb cork screw downward into the scar as deep as you can go. Let up for a few seconds and repeat 3-5 times and move to another section of the scar.
3. Using a massage tool over the scar such as med massager or theragun elite deep tissue massager (I love both of these)
You can also find techniques for massage on Youtube.com (plug in scar tissue massage) or ask your massage therapist to show you how.
Other Items That Help With Scars Are:
Medical Grade Silicone Sheets:
Silicone has been shown to help reduce scars by mimicking your skin’s natural moisture barrier, keeping the scar hydrated, and by applying a small amount of compression to encourage flattening. This works on old or new scars. They also make these for C-sections!
One thing I have learned is that vitamin E is not good for treating scars. After my C-section I did some research and found a study that shows “that there is no benefit to the cosmetic outcome of scars by applying vitamin E after skin surgery and that the application of topical vitamin E may actually be detrimental to the cosmetic appearance of a scar. In 90% of the cases in this study, topical vitamin E either had no effect on, or actually worsened, the cosmetic appearance of scars. Of the patients studied, 33% developed a contact dermatitis to the vitamin E. Therefore, we conclude that use of topical vitamin E on surgical wounds should be discouraged.”