Scar Tissue Removal with Massage

Scar tissue is your body's natural way of dealing with an injury. But without proper treatment, it can have harmful side-effects long after the injury heals. 

What is Scar Tissue

Scar tissue is made up of collagen, a type of protein that makes up most connective tissues in our body. Collagen is carried to the an injury site by the blood and is placed there much like a patch. 

Collagen can be found on any tissue in the body, including skin and internal organs, where an injury, cut, surgery or disease has taken place and then healed.  Collagen binds itself to the damaged soft tissue fibers in an effort to draw the damaged fibers back together limiting your normal range of motion and proper joint mechanics.

Most people think that if they injure or tear a muscle that the muscle will re-grow new healthy tissue or that it would be repaired but unfortunately that doesn’t happen. The tear is replaced with scar tissue, which is not elastic and does not have the same stretchability and strength as healthy muscles. Scar tissue is also paler, denser, and has less blood supply than healthy tissue. 

One of the biggest problems with scar tissue is it will never be as strong as the tissue it replaced.

How Massage Helps to Break Up Scar Tissue

  1. On the first session, your massage therapist would typically work to relax the surrounding tissues to reduce the pressure on your scar tissue and adhesions. This work is necessary to reduce the sensitivity to pressure and release the underlying overprotective layers of muscle tension. 
  2. The second session, or set of sessions, involves slow, constant, steady pressure that only moves as the tissue releases. Due to the multi-directional aspect of scar tissue and adhesions, these compressions and strokes are applied in all directions.
  3. The third session, or set of sessions, involves more detailed work on the areas that need special attention where the scar tissue may have been thickest. Cross-fiber friction is usually performed in a very gentle way so as not to reactivate any tearing. 

Types of Scar Tissue and Adhesions That Can Be Helped

  • Athletic injuries may cause internal scar tissue due to overuse. Hamstrings, calves, rotator cuff muscles are particularly common areas to host scar tissue;
  • Surgery-related scars including C-section scarring;
  • Knee and hip replacement scar tissue;
  • Mastectomy scars, and other similar surgeries. 

Other Ways to Treat and Minimize Scar Tissue

  • Use of foam rollers, grid rollers, tennis balls, and other similar tools, is great at breaking up scar tissue and improving tissue tolerance.
  • Gentle stretching helps to organize the muscles and connective fibers in the correct direction. 
  • Performing strengthening exercises builds stronger tissues overall that are less prone to further injuries. In the case of athletic injuries, strong muscles do not tear. 
  • Performing eccentric exercises for the affected areas (see image).

Schedule Your Massage: 617-340-9870