Scar Tissue: It keeps us from falling apart.
Adhesion: Just sticking around.
Remember your first skinned knee? Remember how painful and scary it was? We all have some sort of visual scaring. Scaring and adhesions are part of the healing process. While scar tissue may seem tougher than healthy tissue it is actually weaker in part due to its inherent inflexibility. It can take many months for a wound to heal leading to the formation of a scar. Scar tissue is different from normal healthy tissue. A scar is formed by fibroblasts gathering around a wound. Fibroblasts are attracted to the histamines that cause inflammation surrounding an injury. The fibroblasts slowly form the collagen that makes up the scar. Adhesions can be caused by the immobility of the damaged area, excess fibroblast development and collagen production. Fascia is a hydrophilic tissue that has the tensile strength of soft steel. When an injury occurs, it is common for the damaged area to fall into disuse. This will lead to the dehydration of fascia. When the fascia dries out it shrinks and loses its slippery texture. Fascia will actually begin to stick or adhere to surrounding tissue. One can begin to understand how the old adage of use it or lose it comes to play when dealing with such an abundant tissue as fascia. Scaring and adhesion do relate to one another in that scaring can lead to adhesion. However, adhesion doesn’t necessarily lead to the formation of scar tissue. A client of ours who had given birth to her 1st child 2 years earlier was referred to us because she was suffering from lower back pain. Our sessions did much to help her with her discomfort, but it wasn’t until we realized that she had a caesarian section did we start looking specifically at the effects of scar tissue. The results from releasing the layers of tissue negatively affected by scaring were dramatic. She was able to gain proper use of her abdominal core muscles and her lower back pain stopped. Medical massage therapy is an extremely useful technique to help reverse the negative effects scaring has on deep tissue and fascial adhesion.