Back At It offers a 30min treatment focusing on just scar tissue. Scars from surgeries such as post orthopedic surgery such as hand surgery, wrist, shoulder, knee, hip (including hip replacement) etc.. Also scars tissue from muscle tissue damages such as a torn muscle (hamstring tear, rotator cuff tear etc..)
Massage can help speed up the recovery process by increasing circulation to the area, improving the pliability tissue and breaking down scar tissue.
What is scar tissue, why does it occur in the body and how can massage therapy help to treat scar tissue?
The body is a network of layers of tissues with different functions- skin, muscles, ligaments and tendons, nerves and blood vessels. All of these tissues are interconnected by our fascia, sheaths of connective tissue that surrounds and compartmentalizes all of our layers from the outermost layer of our skin, all the way down to our bones. It’s honestly miraculous stuff! Fascia is smooth and strong, with different levels of density, but when it’s healthy and un-injured it flows in a regular, organized manner and direction.
When we suffer an injury the regular pattern of our tissue is interrupted – by a deep cut or incision, a severe bruise ( contusion) or a muscle/ tendon tear or ligament sprain. This creates an inflammatory response in the body as the tissue attempts to repair itself. That connective tissue that was formerly smooth and regular becomes a network disorganized and irregular fibres. A good comparison would be a bunch of uncooked spaghetti noodles that fell out of the box in a random, haphazard manner. The connective tissue reforms into scar tissue. It is the body’s natural way of splinting the injured site to provide stability and structural integrity.
So why is this a problem?
Overtime, if the inflammation and scar tissue are not treated the result can be a scar that is immobile and quite deep, which can limit the range of motion of the joint closest to the scar. A shortening of the tissues that cross the joint can occur, with an uncomfortable sense of restriction.
Here’s the great news- scar tissue can be remodelled into looser, more mobile tissue using massage therapy! Whether you have had an injury that has produced scar tissue or have a healing surgical incision, scar tissue massage will support your healing throughout the stages! Everyone’s situation is different, and every body can heal at a different timeline, so our treatment plans are customized to each individual. You may begin treatment very soon after your injury, in which case we will work more gently with reducing inflammation and edema around the injury site. Managing the inflammatory response will help to reduce the chance of more and deeper scar tissue formation.* Acupuncture can be a very complimentary treatment at this stage of healing* As time goes on and the injury healing progresses and the scar tissue matures we can begin working with deeper and more specific techniques to mobilize the scar tissue, as if we were rolling those crazy spaghetti noodles around until they are all gathered in a uniform direction! In time the scar tissue becomes looser, more regular and more functional. Some scar tissue will be more superficial, perhaps a bit less “complicated”, i.e. a mild to moderate muscle strain. Some scar tissue will be deep, and will take longer to heal, i.e. a surgical repair where there are pins, plates or hardware. In either case, our main objective is to promote a healthy, functional scar and full, pain free range of motion of the affected structures. The body is it’s own miracle of healing, but when it’s efforts are met halfway with care and therapy there is no ceiling on what can be achieved!
Scar tissue massage, by Thea Harvey, RMT
* Source- Clinical Massage Therapy by Fiona Rattray and Linda Ludwig