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Tuesday
Dec202011

Scar Tissue

Ever had a muscle strain, sprained joint, broken bone or surgery? Whether damaged skin, muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia or nerve the healing process is all the same and it starts with inflammation.

Scar tissue is collagen based substance that develops as a result of the inflammatory process. Collagen fibers form a bulky mass that completely covers the injury site binding to the edges of the healthy tissue to pull them back together.

The issue with scar tissue
Scar tissue has a tendency to contract and deform the surrounding tissue, decreasing strength and compromising flexibility. When a muscle is strained (pulled or torn) it is not repaired with muscle it gets replaced with scar tissue. Scar tissue binds with the muscle fibers preventing them from sliding back and forth properly, essentially creating a weak spot where full strength and length of the muscle are not possible.

Untreated scar tissue is the major cause of re-injury and chronic pain. Even months after you think the injury is fully healed scar tissue is more susceptible to re-injury due to over doing it or returning to activity too soon.

Treatment
Deep tissue massage, including cross-fiber frictions, myofascial release and hydrotherapy promote alignment of fibers and increase circulation.

Massage before the collagen matures can prevent hypertrophic (thick, excessive) scaring and result in supple, movable scars.

References: Graphic from bellevumassagetherapy.com