Understanding Scar Tissue
When I was a kid I thought it was cool to have scars. I figured the more scars I had the more people would know how awesome and daring I was. As an adult my thoughts regarding scars haven’t changed that much. While I don’t want scars as much anymore I still think they are fascinating. Scars are the body’s way of healing damaged tissue.
Scar tissue seems to get its bad reputation from is when a scar tissue adhesion forms. The adhesions occur during the tissue repair process when collagen forms in random patterns, causing adhesions which reduce the range of motion. Think of scar tissue as an emergency response to trauma. During surgery, for example, your tissue is damaged due to the incisions.
Scar tissue rushes to the site and forms a mesh like grid in order to support the area. Unfortunately for you, the rest of the surrounding tissue is not in a mesh like pattern. The healthy tissue is in a vertical, or horizontal, pattern where as the scar tissue is criss-crossed. That’s where the restrictions happen. Scar tissue in itself is good. Restricted range of motion is not.
Treating Existing Scars
So what’s to be done? In 2016, a study was done on scar management. The study looked at several different preventative and treatment methods of scars that ranged from lasers, to onion extract to massage. While the onion extract wasn’t very effective the study did find that massage had a high efficacy for treating existing scars.
Why Massage Therapy Helps Treat Scar Tissue
Massage therapy is able to break up the adhesions and help encourage the scar tissue to reform in the natural fibre direction. Massage also increases circulation which can help with the healing process and can help desensitize hypersensitive scars. So whether you have had a caesarean or ACL reconstruction or a wipe out on your bike, massage therapy is an option for your scar management.
Our Other Posts on Massage Therapy
Clinical Massage Therapy: Understanding, Assessing and Treating over 70 conditions, Talus Inc, Rattray, Ludwig, Pg. 244-245
Evidence-Based Scar Management: How to Improve Results with Technique and Technology, http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27556757