Why Scar Treatment?
Scars affect the landscape of your body in a three-dimensional way.
Everything in our bodies is connected with vast matrix of fascia. When fascia is injured or restricted in one area, the whole system gets pulled in awkward, compensating directions that can create pain patterns and postural or movement distortion.
For example, although a scar in your belly might not feel noticeable, it can affect the way your shoulder or neck moves, how your hips sit or directly relate to that niggling pain in your back.
Scars can impact nerves, blood vessels and lymph flow.
Scar tissue is your body's way of restoring strength and integrity to an injured area. Unfortunately, a common side effect of scarring is impaired blood and lymph vessel repair and nerve repair across the scarred area.
Some people experience areas of numbness, hypersensitivity, referred pain, or notice chronic swelling in the areas near the scar once the wound has healed.
"I sought treatment... to address right-side body pain, some of which had been present for more than forty years. Osha's holistic approach provided both immediate pain relief and—more importantly—identified the source of on-going pain as linked to a series of surgical scars. No physician had ever made that connection. Honestly, I was skeptical that scar work would help, but I was wrong to doubt. Osha has provided me not only with pain relief, but she has also introduced me to a healthier relationship with my body. "
~Brenda Llewellyn-Ihssen, Ph.D.
Scar Age and Healing Timeline
The first 6 weeks after an injury, your body is hard at work repairing the wound site.
It takes a coordinated effort to heal and form a healthy scar. Swelling, heat, changes in texture and sensation are all normal parts of the healing process. As the wound ages, the scar goes through several phases of development. By around 8 weeks, the body has established a scar that can effectively hold the tissue together with out breaking apart due to external forces. You can usually pick up your scar and roll it around by this time.
This scar is now in the beginning of it's remodeling stage. Over the next year or so, your injured area and scar will continue to go through changes. This is a time when the collagen fibers of the scar are being pulled and contorted with normal life activity which helps them develop into a strong, mature scar.
A healthy, mature scar typically develops around a year or sometimes several years after the initial wound occurs. It is flat, white in color and moves easily with the surrounding tissue.
Normal, healthy tissue layers should easily glide over one another. Adhesions are areas where collegen fibers have attached layers of muscle, fascia and skin together creating an area that no longer glides but sticks together. In scars, this may look like a depressed or raised area, or an area that does not move normally with the surrounding tissue.
During the beginning stages of the healing process, the body creates a temporary scafold in the wounded area, a stable space for all the action of the repair process. Once the scafold is no longer needed, it is slowly broken down and cleared out via the lymphatic system. Fibrosis developes when the scafold materials are not efficiently and completely removed. Over time, they harden and become fiberous or fibrotic. Fibrosis can also result from excess protein building up in the tissue during prolonged swelling that is not managed well.
Scar Treatment Can Help
Scar treatment helps the dense collagen fiber matrix to open up and allows lymph and blood vessels to regrow through the area, and even releases entrapped nerves. Scar treatment at Estuary is not geared toward "breaking down" scar tissue, rather, the focus is on opening space within the scar itself and removing trapped waste from the tissue via the lymphatic system.
Profound results are frequently achieved using a gentle technique called MSTR, even on scars that have had lots of other types of scar work.
Scar work can be an invaluable compliment to:
many other therapies that help heal and restore the body
Scars come in many shapes and sizes, and each one holds a story about your life experience. They should always be approached respectfully and with care.
Sometimes, scars related to traumatic experiences can stir up unresolved or unprocessed feelings. It is strongly recommended that in such cases, you have access to a therapist who can help you work with feelings that may arise.
Some examples of traumatic scars that may need additional support:
scars from human attackers
bullet wound scars
auto accident scars
and other traumatic experiences
Acne and Pockmark Scars
Scar treatment can reduce skin depressions of acne and pockmark scarring, improving circulation and appearance.
Stitches add extra opportunities for adhesions to develop.
Surgical scars vary in depth and layers of tissue affected. Well healed surgical scars are flat and smooth and they glide easily with the tissue layers they have repaired. The scars on these knees look stuck and lumpy. These knees could use some TLC and MSTR!
Cesarean and Bikini Line Scars
Surgery in the lower abdomen cuts through many layers of muscle and fascia. When the body repairs these wounds, the scarring often creates a solid adhesion of multiple layers. In addition, extra scar tissue often winds up binding the belly wall to the viscera, creating digestive challenges, referred pain and nerve impairment.
These are sneaky scars. The part of the scar that shows is the entrance point, but the scar travels along beneath the surface to the site of surgical repair. Pain or restriction from these scars can often be felt but it's hard to know why because the sensation may not be at the visible end of the scar.
Injury Wound Scars
Radiation and Burn Scars
These scars are handled with extreme care due to the potential impact on a compromised immune and lymphatic system.
More coming soon on Oncology Scar Treatment, including treatment for Axillary Cording.