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Scar Management

Mar15th 2021

How to Decrease your Pain and Hypersensitivity QUICK

Have you had a recent surgery or injury and are now left with a scar?

Scars come in all shapes and sizes – some scars may be raised (keloid scar), some are flat, and some even form an indent. Whatever your scar looks like, proper scar management is crucial. If scars are not managed properly, long lasting hypersensitivity and restrictive scar tissue formation is likely to develop. Luckily for you, though, there are numerous things you can be doing RIGHT NOW to manage these symptoms!

What is Scar Tissue? 

Scar tissue ultimately forms to heal the body from injury – but you know what they say about too much of a good thing… 

While scar tissue formation is a necessary and important part of the healing process – oftentimes the body forms too much. Scar tissue is fibrous and restrictive and if not managed properly, can limit your mobility! Scar tissue can adhere to structures below the skin and decrease your ability to move freely. Don’t worry, though, there are things you can be doing right now to decrease your scar tissue formation!

Why is My Scar SO Sensitive? 

When the skin is damaged – often the nerves that innervate the skin are damaged as well. Thus reeducating the nerves as they heal is necessary to decrease pain associated with hypersensitivity. The deep pressure neural receptors are the first to heal, thus deep pressure will be less painful than light touch (as odd as that sounds). Because of this, you will want to start the desensitization process by pushing deep pressure throughout the scarred area. As you are able, you will want to lighten pressure until light pressure is no longer painful.

What Can ProTailored Physical Therapy do for Scar Management?

If you have recently undergone a surgical procedure or been involved in an accident that caused tissue damage that since resulted in the formation of a scar – we highly recommend that you pop on in for an evaluation! Our Doctor’s of Physical and Occupational Therapy will be able to provide you with personalized techniques and recommendations to best manage your scar tissue, as well as other underlying restrictions.

Our therapists havebeen specially trained to perform various hands-on manual techniques to address your musculoskeletal aches and pains. Some of the manual techniques you may experience at ProTailored Physical Therapy include:

  • Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization | Known by most as “scraping”
  • Dry Needling | Over scar tissue to release tension and decrease hypersensitivity
  • Sensory Bins | Containers filled with small items of various textures

How to Care for Your Scars AT HOME!

CROSS FRICTION MASSAGE

To best break up scar tissue adhesions and maintain your mobility, cross friction massage should be performed. To do this – you will want to apply direct pressure to the scar and rub back and forth, up and down, and in circular motions.

Pro-Tip: To intensify this one, you can use the handle of a spoon to apply force in the same directions mentioned above.

Do this for 5-10 minutes 2 times a day, until you feel your scar become more pliable.

DESENSITIZATION

Rubbing over top of the scar with varied pressures and differing textures will speed up the healing process of the damaged nerves and desensitize the area. To do this, grab a towel, blanket, t-shirt, napkin, Velcro, etc. (you can get creative here) and rub over the scar, starting with deeper pressures and progressing to lighter pressures.

Do this for 5-10 minutes 2 times a day, until you feel your scar become more pliable.

HYDRATION

Apply a lotion or hydrating balm of choice to your scar often! Here at the clinic, we prefer to use Cocoa Butter infused with Vitamin E. Do this to hydrate the skin and promote the healing process.

MOVEMENT!

Motion is lotion – move the joints around the scar! This will decrease the amount of scar tissue adhesion to the structures below the skin and ultimately promote better outcomes after the scar tissue has formed. 

*Limited Mobility or Pain due to the formation of a scar or scar tissue – please give ProTailored Physical Therapy a call today at 260-739-0300!

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