Even the notion of being born into this crazy rock of a world can be a physically violent event, beginning with the possibility of forceps assisted birth. But, what exactly is Scar Tissue and how does it affect the body's ability to function, without pain?
To begin, this type of tissue is generated by the body whenever it is injured in any way, whether it is a cut, burn, tear or broken bone, diseased organ, etc.. Basically, the body will always try to repair any damage done to it.
As can be seen by the image to the left, although scaring patches an injury, it alters the continuity of muscle tissue as well as the potential load handling capacity and range of pain free motion. In fact, an area with hard inflexible scar tissue, is an easy future injury site.
Scar tissue is a loosely constructed collagen matrix, a form of connective tissue which is tough and inflexible. This type of tissue has less blood vessels and innervation. Interestingly, once scar tissue starts to mobilize in the body, it never quits the process. Sometimes, normal scar tissue can over-replicate and become Keloid tissue. This type of scar tissue can grow so continuously that it can cover complete appendices or organs, stopping function all together. Although Keloid scaring is not usually the case, normal scar tissue is pervasive and prolific in its own right,
Scar tissue itself will not appear this way, however, it often can and does interfere with normal joint function. There are many instances where abdominal scar tissue actually strangulates intestines or the colon and can be fatal.
Mostly, normal scaring is visually impacting, but if they become problematic relative to movement and/or cause pain during movement, they can be dealt with by manual therapy.
In particular modalities such as Medical Massage, Clinical Massage and various other techniques.
While my belief is that ultimately, clinical massage is one of the most effective methods of dealing with thick scar tissue, technology has given us some great tools to work with. As I sometimes use them as adjunct treatment, it would be a dis-service not to mention a couple.of them.
My personal favorite is the Russian originated S.C.E.N.A.R. device...I have found this to be one of the most effective pieces of equipment. It is able to help with scar tissue, muscle soreness and skin or tissue pathologies of many kinds. http://www.scenar.info/scenar-information.html This device seems to teach the cells of the body to heal themselves!
There are also a great number of MD's and Chiropractors now touting the use of Lasers to break up scar tissue. These devices are very good and when followed up with the proper clinical massage work, do produce significant results.
There are other older treatments such as Ultra sound which have seemed to be effective in many instances. Most Chiropractors and some Massage Therapists will have these treatments available.
Again, as with any other adjunct treatment, clinical massage therapy techniques should be part of this treatment protocol. There are always going to be alternative treatment devices which will be able to help reduce the size and inflexibility of scar tissue internally and externally, However, I will stand by my belief that, as the structure of the body is absolutely bound by connective tissue from head to toe, inside and out, Nothing beats the effectiveness of the sensitivity and skills associated with a top notch Clinical Massage Therapist.
As always, this article is presented purely for your educational consideration. The information is in no way suggesting or implying diagnosis or treatment of any condition or illness.
Steve Lynch, LMT-MSG008476, AAS/Holistic Health, CTE