Scar Massage Alleviates Scar Tissue

Surgery, fractures, soft tissue injuries like sprains and strains develop tight injured tissue called scar tissue. Scar tissue is collagen, a protein that the body lays down after an injury. With healthy tissue the layering is even and aligned giving strength but after an injury the collagen builds in sporadic layers as the cells are deposited more randomly.

Scar tissue is not permanent. After it forms around an incision, a tear or a callus after a fracture, the scar needs remodelling. Firstly the wound needs to heal adequately as to not open again before scar massage can remodel the scar tissue, thus helping the person regain mobility, strength and a better range of motion. Thus helping the healing process naturally.

Remodelling involves a series of techniques that stretches and pulls the restricted area allowing the collagen cells to realign how they usually do. If the scar doesn’t remodel correctly, mobility is lost due to the shortening and tightening of fibers, making movement difficult.

Remodelling injured tissue can generally take 6-8weeks, depending on a persons ability to heal. You may hear the terms, cross friction or transverse friction massage or myofascial release MFR.

All these techniques including prolonged slow moderate stretching, ie holding postures for a long time, help lengthen the injured tissue and improve movement, eg yin yoga whereby postures are held for 3-5mins and thus fully remodel the scar tissue.

Weight bearing exercises, like 1:1 yoga therapy, specialised physio and PT (personal training) exercises also help rehabilitate bone fractures as bone tissue grows in response to the stress laid upon them.

Recent evidence based research also suggests that scar massage can provide moderate to strong pain relief for burn scarring. Pliability, how elastic the scar is, can be improved and pruritus (itchiness) can be reduced with scar massage.

Use a good lubricating oil like castor or jojoba oil and rosehip oil is also good for reducing scars.

As a physical (massage) therapist I’m able to alleviate scarring and have worked with all the above conditions and frequently within the Thai Abdominal Massage work.