How Do Scars Contribute to Chronic Pain?

Have you ever had surgery? Broken a bone? Sprained a ligament? Strained a muscle, needed stitches? Knee or hip replacement? If you are female have you had a C-section? Have you has surgery for hernia?

If you said yes to any of these scenarios, then you have scar tissue in your body.


What Is A Scar?

Scar tissue is an inflexible fibrous tissue that replaces normal tissue after an injury or wound. Think of it like a scab over a wound. Initially, it is very tender to the touch and can be very painful during movement. As the scar forms, its type varies depending on the location of the injury--but all scars render the tissue inflexible and tends to carry many pain fibres within them.


Do you have scar on your body? Take a moment to touch it and compare to the tissue next to it. The appearance of scars can vary and is dependent on your age, heredity, genetics and the severity of the injury.


What Does Scar Tissue Do?

Scar tissue pulls on surrounding healthy issue towards it. For example, if a woman has a C-section, the tissue above and below that scar is pulled toward the scar. That may lead to neck pain, back pain and lower leg pain. The same could be said for an appendix scar. In this case some of the organs in the area may be affected. Scar tissue creates tension in the body.


Different Types of Scars

  • Hypertrophic Scars are raised, red and do not extend beyond the boundary of the original injury.

  • Keloid Scars are raised, red and extend beyond the boundaries of the original injury.

  • Atrophic Scars leave depressions in the skin caused when the underlying structures supporting the skin (i.e. muscle, fat) are lost.

  • Contracture Scars are often caused by burns. They are flat, tight scars that constrict movement and may go deeper, affecting muscles and nerves.

  • Acne Scars are pitted, caused by the stretching of pores.

  • Stretch Marks are also a form of scarring and can develop when skin is rapidly stretched (during pregnancy, significant weight gain, or adolescent growth spurts) or when the skin is put under tension during the healing process (usually near joints).

The truth is that you accumulate scars throughout your life and they impact the body in negative ways.


How Do Scars Negatively Affect You and Your Body?

  1. Form Adhesions – scarring inside the body puts organs in to a straitjacket affecting their function.

  2. Cause Chronic Pain – scar is tender to touch or painful upon contact.

  3. Activates Stress – raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

  4. Activates Trigger Points – reduces range of motion and creates pain.

  5. Injures Fascia – restricts movement and has even more negative impacts.


All of these lead to an increase in stress that fires up your sympathetic nervous system activity, also known as the "fight or flight' response, releasing of the stress hormone cortisol, slowing down muscle recovery, increasing load to the heart, increasing blood pressure, generating chronic pain throughout the body and more.


The biggest influence of scars is on pain.


Scar Release Therapy with Microcurrent Point Stimulation (MPS) can produce significant pain relieving results, which can increase mobility, reduce complications and lessen pain often found in a different part of the body from the scar site!


What Is Scar Release Therapy?

Scar Release Therapy (SRT) is a unique therapy that applies Microcurrent Point Stimulation (MPS) with two Dolphin Neurostim units. SRT works to increase cellular metabolism and protein synthesis to re-awaken the skin’s ability to self-generate.


Microcurrent waves stimulate cells through scar tissue by directly targeting and reducing tissue trauma, adhesions and fascial restrictions. This also reverses stress levels leaving you more relaxed.


Scar Release Therapy with Dolphin Neurostim is offered at our clinic with Mike (RMT, AT) (https://www.meridianspineandsport.ca/mike-grafstein-rmt) and may be a treatment on its own or as the first part of a individualized treatment protocol that would also include myofascial release, matrix repatterning or fluid dynamics manual therapy.




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