How Scar Tissue Can Cause Pain

Do you have a scar? Scars can be a constant reminder of past injuries- and can be a great conversation starter. (Let me tell you about the time I fought off a shark and won!) However, some scars can actually be a source of pain.

How can they cause problems? Imagine for a second that you have had a c-section. In a typical c-section, the abdominal muscles are not cut, they are pulled out to the side, but the skin and the connective tissue around the abdominal muscles is cut. This connnective tissue also connects to the pelvic floor muscles. Imagine now that this c-section scar has now become very stiff, almost immovable. (This stiffness is more common the more c-sections a woman has.) For the abdominal muscles to work properly, they need to be able to move. For example of muscle movement, try to flex your biceps- did you notice how much your muscle moves when you flex it? It should get bigger. Now relax your biceps- it should decrease in height.  Now put some pressure on it with your other hand. Try to flex your biceps again- it’s harder isn’t it? It might even be painful. If that was like that every time you used your biceps, you would eventually start to avoid using your muscle. The same thing can happen with your abdominal muscles. With the constant pressure from an immovable scar, your body may start to avoid using these muscles. Your body may start to compensate by using low back muscles to keep you upright, causing back pain. A tight, immovable scar in the abdomen can also put a constant tension on the pelvic floor muscles. With the muscles always pulled into a tight position, they start to become painful.

What can you do if this describes your situation? You can never fully get rid of scar tissue, but you can help it to move better. At home, you can start with a scar tissue massage. (Only do scar tissue massage after the scar has fully healed- if you are unsure, please talk to your physician.) Try to move the scar upwards, downwards and in circles. Feel for which direction is most difficult to move the scar, and focus on that direction. Some people like to use vitamin E oil during the massage, and while that can help the skin, it doesn’t help the connective tissue underneath become more mobile, so it is not absolutely necessary during a scar massage. Work on the scar for at least  5 minutes a day until it starts to feel more mobile.

If you are not seeing the results you want, feel free to contact us at The Perfect Pelvis for a consultation. In the clinic we can complete myofascial release and specialized scar tissue releases to help the scar tissue move as normally as possible. In many cases, patients will notice a significant change after the first visit.

*While we make every effort to provide accurate information- this is not to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your physician for specific medical advice.

The Perfect Pelvis- providing specialized physical therapy for the pelvic floor in the Lee’s Summit and greater Kansas City area.



Dr. Katy Rush

The Perfect Pelvis

"We Help Active Adults & Athletes Get Back To Workouts and Sports They Enjoy without surgery, stopping activities they love, or relying on pain medicine."