Four and a half years ago Hanaa Rifaey delivered her first child by Cesarean section. The tightness and discomfort from the surgical scar bothered Hanaa for years. She felt it often when putting on slacks. She also experienced discomfort from the scar between contractions when delivering her second baby. Every time her son climbed into her lap she felt pain from the scar and had to reposition him. “I thought this was something I just had to live with. It never occurred to me that this could be remedied.”
When she mentioned the scar to her massage therapist, Frances Reed, massage therapist and co-owner of Freed Bodyworks, Rifaey discovered she didn’t have to live with the pain any longer. After two sessions of scar tissue release treatment her C-section scar is significantly flatter and is no longer painful. “It’s made a huge difference. I felt it immediately after our first session. I don’t need to move my son off that part of my belly anymore.”
“Scar tissue causes restriction. Then the body adapts to the restriction. It becomes a chain reaction,” says Reed. “Physical restriction can affect posture and breath, it can create anxiety and lead to bigger problems.”
One of Reed’s clients, a woman in her 50s, was experiencing hip pain. After ruling out obvious structural hip issues, Reed asked her if she had a C-section. Reed’s client laughed, and said, ‘Yes, many years ago. What does that have to do with anything?” Once Reed released the scar tissue from the C-section, the client’s hip pain disappeared.
Who Can Benefit?
Scar tissue release treatment is not just for women who have had C-sections. Scar tissue is a type of fascia or connective tissue which covers our entire body from the top of our head to the tip of our toes. Scar tissue is different from other fascia because it is quickly formed to repair an area of the body that is damaged from surgery or injury. “It doesn’t have nerves, it doesn’t have elasticity and is not like regular fascia,” said Reed. “It never goes away unless something can break it up.”
Anyone who has had surgery, an injury, a muscle tear or a sprain where tendons are torn can get relief from discomfort, restore range of motion, free up movement and feel better from Scar Tissue Release Treatment. Walter Fritz, physical therapist and specialist in fascia release said he treats clients for back, neck, and foot pain, headaches, nerve entrapment issues, and pain and dysfunction associated with scar tissue. Fascia release specialist Steve Jurch agrees. “Using fascial therapy on clients suffering from scar tissue dysfunction pains can help create a more functional scar.”
Reed, who recently completed a workshop specializing in scar release treatment for oncological patients, said this treatment can also help improve movement for older individuals who have joint restrictions that cause pain. Keloid scars which are thick and are the result of excessive growth of fibrous tissue can also be worked through the Scar Tissue Release Treatment. “Because keloid scarring has a different immune system response than regular scars, internal scarring can be broken up, but the raised part of the scar won’t change,” said Reed.
Scar Tissue Release Treatment is very gentle. “The therapist slowly works the scar with small motions that moves the scar back and forth until the tissue releases,” explains Rifaey. “It’s not painful at all.”
According to Reed one or two 30-60 minute sessions can alleviate most of the trauma caused by a straightforward surgical scars. If someone has had knee replacement that was preceded by years of arthritis or injury which creates more complex scarring, it can be a longer process to release the scar tissue.
“The next thing Frances is going to tackle is my shoulder injury that I got in high school from playing tennis,” said Rifaey. “My shoulder doesn’t move correctly. I don’t have full mobility.” She encourages anyone with any form of scars that are bothering them to try the treatment. “It’s going to change your life.”
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Pattie Cinelli is a professional writer who has been writing her column for more than 25 years. She is also holistic fitness consultant who trains clients in homes, offices and Sport & Health and teaches yoga and Pilates. She writes her columns about the leading edge of health and fitness thought and practice. Email Pattie with questions or comments to:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: In the original printing of this article, Frances Reed was referred to as a “her” which has been changed.