Scars. Most of us have a scar or two, from knocks and scrapes as a child to surgery, burns or more severe accidents.
Scars tissue is the mending block of the body. They are the bodies way to quickly heal a wound and prevent infection, so we should be grateful for this process. However, more and more people are living with scar tissue and it can cause pain, impairment or illness now or in our future.
Because the impact of a scar can happen slowly, sometimes over years, they can be forgotten about or not considered when a problem occurs later in life. Especially if the scar itself is not causing any pain or discomfort..
Why Can A Scar Be A Problem?
The body is made up of a web of connective tissue (fascia) that connects and covers all parts of the body. These structures need to be able to slide and glide over each other as we and our internal organs move and work.
After any surgery, accident or burn the body initially plugs the gap with scar tissue. Its goal is to quickly repair any damage, joining any separated tissues back together again and ensures our protective skin layer stays intact.
It doesn’t replace any of the layers that used to be there. So the tissues involved can get stuck together. Adhesions (sticky patches) between the skin layers, fascia (connective tissue) and even around your organs (if the trauma/surgery went as deep as the abdominal cavity) can be quite far reaching.
If you had an infection pre or post surgery, delayed healing from complications, multiple incisions on the same site this will result in more scarring and adhesions under the skin.
Scar Tissue Changes Over Time
Scar tissue is different from the tissue it is replacing. It has more collagen in it which makes it less elastic than muscle, fascia or skin. Over time your body continues to remove and replace the initial scar with a more refined product.
The body lays new scar tissue down in line with how that area is used, where the main stress and load is placed, to make it as effective as possible. Movement, daily activity and exercise will help get the best out of any scar tissue.
The tricky aspect to scar tissue is that it shrinks and tightens with age. This causes the body to adapt and have to compensate for the changes in movement and function available around the scar. Such changes are gradual, so you may not notice but it can cause issues years later as the new tension patterns take their toll on the body over time.
A recurring, unexplained injury, pain or tightness in other areas of the body could be a by-product of adhesions from previous surgery or traumas.The body will always redistribute tension and strain from scar tissue and adhesions to protect the internal organs and keep you moving, even if that results in musculoskeletal pain or dysfunction.
What If I Only Have A Small Or Keyhole Scar?
The scar you see on the surface can be a misleading guide for what is going on underneath.
When it comes to surgery, more and more procedures are being done by keyhole incisions. These leave small scars on the surface, which can make you think there is less scarring as a result. These operations however often need 2 or 3 incisions to gain access to the operation site.
The internal trauma can still be extensive and leave much internal scarring even though the outer scar gives the illusion of an insignificant process. To understand this more have a look at this blog all about what happens to scar tissue underneath the skin.
What Can Be Done To Help Scars?
The good news is a scar is never too old to be improved. Developed by Structural Integrator Sharon Wheeler, ScarWork is a very gentle approach to working with scar tissue. It uses a light touch technique that helps restore function and movement to both the scar and surrounding tissues.
ScarWork sessions are always completely pain free and can give positive benefits no matter how old the scar is. After even one session people often report a softening around the scar, improved comfort, reduced pain or better sensation.
ScarWork is not a miracle cure but over time can reduce the adhesions both in and around the scar. This gives space and movement capability back to the area, improving function too.
To find out more about ScarWork visit – scarwork.com