What is abdominal scar massage, and do I need it?
Have you had any type of abdominal surgery – C-section, Hysterectomy, Appendectomy, Laparoscopy? The chances are, you have some scar tissue and myofascial adhesions that are likely to be causing tightness, lower back ache, rib pain, hip or pelvic pain, to name a few.
If you have delivered your baby via caesarean section – you may find you have areas of sensitivity along your scar. Is there ‘pulling’, pinching or actually – no sensitivity at all? Do you have a hard ‘ledge’ just above your scar that feels lumpy, tight and restricted? Then scar massage is for you!
Did you know, the remodelling phase of wound healing can take anything from 6 weeks to 2 years post-surgery. In this time, scar tissue, made up of densely packed collagen is laid down. It has no elastin fibres and has 80% less strength than normal tissue, so it’s no wonder the healing time is impaired! Furthermore, if you had an infection in the wound sometime after the surgery, the inflammation will have worked negatively against your recovery even more.
The good news is, it’s never ‘too late’ to work on a scar.
When there is trauma to the body, the connective tissue (known as fascia) will become hardened, fibrous, immobile and ‘stuck’. Fascia is a 3D network of connective tissue, which surrounds every muscle, organ, tissue, bone and nerve in the body. It is a protective layer, gliding and moving freely as we move, but through stress, trauma, injury or surgery, these layers can become hardened, fibrous and will not glide so freely. This causes pain, tension and reduced range of motion. Fascial restrictions have the capacity of creating up to 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch of a restricted area.
So, what can you do to help?
Increasing blood supply and hydration can hugely impact the functionality of the tissues. Immobility and lack of any kind of soft tissue therapy will increase the likeliness of the scar becoming ‘stuck’ and immobile. Nutrition is also important – Foods high in antioxidants and alkaline, rather than acidic will help with healing. What you eat, will affect your recovery.
Massaging, stretching and mobilising the tissues all around the scar will hydrate the tissues and increase the blood supply to promote healing. This will have a positive impact on the fascial system – enabling the ‘freeing up’ of the hardened, tight adhesions that have formed.
When you come for scar massage at Waterside Therapy Rooms, we will not just be working on your scar. With all the fascial restrictions that come with having surgery of any kind, there will be other issues we need to address! Expect us to check your breathing which effects your diaphragm and pelvic floor function, we will work to release adhesions in your abdomen and check whether there is a recti-diastasis if you are post pregnancy. We may decide to use Kinesiotape to help reduce inflammation or promote further healing too.
We recommend you book a course of treatments to get the best results. We offer a package which includes a 90min initial session, plus 2 further 1hour follow-up appointments. You can book your package here.
Your scar must be healed and at least 6 weeks post-op to be able to receive this treatment.