Considerations about scars

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

Recently a patient came to my attention with an overlapping scar tissue in her abdominal wall (related to two C-sections) and a scar in her right hip (for an osteotomy due to a congenital hip dysplasia). The result? Constipation, limping on her right side, pain in her right leg. Nobody has ever treated her scars.


This is the reason for my lecture about this interesting fibrotic tissue.


A scar, especially if of important dimensions such a C-section one, leaves a physical trace and keeps in itself the history of the event that originated it (surgery or trauma). Therefore, there is a connection with the emotional sphere that is barely taken into consideration during the healing process. Have you ever recommended to a patient to go to visit a counsellor because of a scar?


When our skin integrity is altered, the skin itself becomes the source of symptoms that are not simply superficial and cutaneous. Those signs are very important and linked to the arising of visceral, postural and somatic problems.


The scar tissue is anelastic and rigid, so it easily creates knots and blocks on skin, facial and muscular planes, damaging their natural mobility and causing painful and pulling tractions of the damaged tissues (both superficial and deep) during our daily routine.


Adhesions are the repercussion of scars INSIDE our body, on internal regions. It means that the scar area extends beyond the damaged area. This way the postural balance of our body is imperceptibly disturbed: when adhesions are created, bundles of fibrous tissue are formed between the damaged tissues, the internal organs and the adjacent joints. That is what happened to the above mentioned patient.


Over time, we may have the impression that our body healed completely, but while the body is effective in repairing itself, some scars can be problematic. Scar tissue is never as functional as the original tissue it replaced, with the exception of very minor scars. The structural changes related to the scar can cause pain, nervous effects as numbness or pain, limited range of motion and flexibility, postural imbalance, muscle weakness and deterioration, reduced tissue oxygenation and increased potential for future injury.


Also, scar tissue acts like a dam that disturbs lymphatic drainage, circulation and affects our normal physiology and our health. How can the blood flow bring oxygen to a territory, if the vessels are interrupted by a scar? How can we remove a congestion from a pelvic floor or small intestine if the two C-section scars are not promptly addressed?


~Francesca Fabbri DOMP, RPT