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When Is It Too Late To Massage Scar Tissue
Dealing with scar tissue can be a frustrating and sometimes painful aspect of the healing process. Knowing when to start massaging your scars and how long you can continue the treatment is crucial in achieving improved appearance, flexibility, and overall comfort.
In this blog post, we will explore different types of scars, discuss why massaging our scar tissue can provide numerous benefits, and help you do more research to determine if it’s too late to massage your own scar tissue or not.
- Scar tissue massage can provide numerous benefits such as softening and flattening of scars, improved flexibility and range of motion, reduced pain and sensitivity, and boosted circulation and lymphatic drainage.
- Scar massage is typically recommended 2 – 3 weeks after surgery when the scar is fully closed with no scabs present; however, it can be done between 6 weeks to 50 years after surgery.
- It’s essential to ensure that scars are fully healed with no scabbing before starting massage therapy to avoid further damage or infection.
- Scar tissue release therapy is an effective technique for breaking down adhesions caused by scar tissues regardless of how long ago the injury occurred.
Table of Contents
Understanding Scar Tissue
Scar tissue is the result of a natural healing process that occurs after an injury, and it can be caused by surgery or trauma.
Definition And Types Of Scars
Scar tissue is the body’s natural response to repairing damaged skin, whether it be from injuries, surgery, illness, burns or even acne. It is primarily composed of collagen fibers that are tightly wound and coiled together so as to provide the body with a strong foundation for healing.
For example, hypertrophic scars occur when there is an overproduction of collagen during the healing process leading to raised and reddened scar tissue. These often fade over time but may still leave behind a noticeable mark.
On the other hand, keloid scars result from more severe cases where excess collagen not only raises the scar itself but also extends beyond its original boundaries causing thick bands or nodules on the skin surface.
Atrophic scars have a sunken appearance due to underlying muscle or fat loss while contracture scars tighten up surrounding tissues potentially limiting flexibility and range of motion in affected areas like joints.
How Scars Form
Scars form as a natural part of the body’s healing process after an injury, surgery, or skin condition such as acne. When the skin is damaged, our body acts quickly to repair it by producing collagen fibers that help mend damaged tissue and close the wound.
The process of scarring may vary depending on factors such as age, genetics, and location of the injury. For example, hypertrophic scars are characterized by excess scar tissue within the boundaries of the wound; these types of scars appear raised and red compared to their surrounding skin.
Over time, some people with hypertrophic scars may notice that their appearance fades gradually.
Scar tissue development is a normal and natural part of the healing process, but in some cases, it can lead to complications that may impact one’s overall health and well-being. Excessive scar tissue buildup, also known as fibrosis, can occur when there’s an overproduction of collagen fibers during the reparative phase.
One complication associated with excessive scar formation is limited range of motion and flexibility, particularly if the scarring occurs near a joint or impacts underlying muscle tissue.
This might make everyday movements challenging and uncomfortable for those affected. Infections during wound healing could delay recovery time and increase the risk of developing problematic scars.
Burn injuries involving deep tissues or crossing joints have heightened concerns about hypertrophic scarring which contributes to stiffness and reduced mobility.
Here is a video from Massage Sloth on Scar Tissue Massage and it’s benefits:
Benefits Of Scar Tissue Massage
Scar tissue massage can help provide several benefits, including softening and flattening of scars, improved flexibility and range of motion, reduced pain and sensitivity, and boosted circulation and lymphatic drainage.
Softening And Flattening Of Scars
One of the main benefits of scar tissue massage is that it can help soften and flatten scars. When a scar forms, collagen fibers form a tight webbing which pulls the skin inwards to create a raised or indented appearance.
Scar massage breaks up these fibers, promoting collagen remodeling and allowing the skin to become more supple and soft over time. This process can take several weeks or months but with regular massaging using gentle pressure techniques such as cross-friction massage, you may notice significant improvement in your scar’s appearance.
Improved Flexibility And Range Of Motion
Scar tissue massage and stretching can help release tension and improve flexibility, leading to an improved range of motion. For instance, a study conducted by Moffitt Cancer Center found that patients who received scar tissue massage reported significant improvements in shoulder flexion and abduction.
Gradual passive and active mobilization exercises along with isometric strengthening techniques have also been proven effective in improving scar tissue healing. By easing the tightness caused by adhesions, scar massage helps muscles move more freely, reducing pain during everyday activities like reaching or bending over.
Reduced Pain And Sensitivity
As scar tissue forms, it can often lead to discomfort and pain. Scar massage has been found to greatly reduce the amount of pain and sensitivity experienced in the affected area.
By breaking up adhesions within the scar tissue, nerve endings are able to function more effectively, leading to a decrease in pain levels.
Studies have shown that massage therapy is effective in reducing both acute and chronic pain caused by injury or surgery. Research also suggests that therapists who incorporate cross-friction techniques while massaging scars can achieve even better results than traditional friction massages alone.
Boosted Circulation And Lymphatic Drainage
One of the benefits of scar tissue massage is that it can boost circulation and lymphatic drainage in the affected area. This improvement in blood flow allows for better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the healing tissues, promoting faster healing.
At High Society Mobile Massage, I have seen firsthand how massage therapy can aid in post-surgery healing by increasing circulation and decreasing recovery time. My clients report feeling more comfortable after a session as their bodies are better able to release toxins and promote cellular growth through improved circulation.
It’s important to note that scar tissue should only be massaged once it has fully healed to prevent further damage or delay in healing time.
Like this article so far? Check out my the article I wrote on whether or Not to Tip a Massage Therapist
When To Begin Scar Massage And How Long After Surgery Can Scar Tissue Be Massaged?
Typically, scar massage is recommended 2-3 weeks after surgery once the scar is fully closed with no scabbing, but it can be done between 6 weeks to 50 years after surgery.
Typically Recommended 2-3 Weeks After Surgery
During the initial healing phase, the body is focused on closing the wound and preventing infection. It’s not until 2-3 weeks after surgery that scar tissue massage is typically recommended.
At this point, any sutures or staples have been removed, and the skin has fully closed with no scabbing present. Waiting until this time allows for proper healing, reducing the risk of reopening the incision or causing further damage to the area.
Scar Must Be Fully Closed With No Scabbing
Once your wound has completely closed, it is safe to start massaging the scar tissue. It’s important to ensure that there are no surgical staples, steri-strips or scabs present before starting massage as this may cause further damage and interrupt the healing process.
Scar massage should only be started when the skin has fully healed with no scabbing in order to avoid infection and other complications.
During a scar massage, it’s recommended to use gentle pressure using one or two fingers at first then gradually increasing intensity over time depending on how well you’re able to tolerate it.
Scar Tissue Release Therapy Can Be Done Between 6 Weeks To 50 Years After Surgery
Scar tissue release therapy is a technique used to break up adhesions and decrease the tightness caused by scar tissues. It includes different types of massaging techniques, including cross friction massage, myofascial release, and soft tissue manipulation.
This kind of therapy can be done 6 weeks after surgery when the wound has fully healed until almost 50 years after incisions and injuries have occurred. That’s why it’s essential never to give up on the idea that your scars can still improve even if they’re decades old.
No Scar Is Too Old To Allow For Change And Release Adhesions
As a massage therapist, I’ve seen firsthand that no scar is too old to undergo change and release adhesions through scar tissue release therapy.
Even scars that are many years old can benefit from regular massage to improve their appearance, reduce tightness, alleviate discomfort, and increase mobility. For instance, I once worked with a client who had developed significant scar tissue following a car accident over 10 years ago.
Through consistent massaging of the affected area, we were able to soften the tissues around the injury site and increase their range of motion.
How To Massage Scar Tissue And When Is It Too Late To Massage Scar Tissue?
Wait until after the skin has fully healed before massaging the scar tissue, and use fingertips to apply gentle pressure. Combining massage with other treatments such as silicone scar gel may also be helpful.
Seek advice from a healthcare provider or physical therapist on when to begin scar massage and be aware of contraindications and risks.
Wait Until After The Skin Has Fully Healed
As someone who has experienced scars firsthand, I understand the urge to start scar massage as soon as possible. But it’s important to remember that you should wait until after the skin has fully healed before beginning any type of scar tissue massage.
This means waiting until there is no scabbing or open wounds on your skin.
Once your wound has completely closed, gentle, massaging your scar top with one or two fingers can help promote healthy blood flow and release built-up tension in the area around the scar.
It’s important not to use extra pressure or pulling motions, which can injure the affected tissue underneath. Combining massage with other treatments such as silicone scar gel and taking advice from a healthcare professional or physical therapist can help improve movement and regain feeling within the affected area over time.
Use Fingertips To Apply Gentle Pressure
When massaging scar tissue, it is important to apply gentle pressure. Using fingertips is the safest and most effective way to massage scars. Here are some tips on how to use your fingertips whenUse one or two fingers to apply pressure along the scar line.
- Use one or two fingers to apply pressure along the scar line.
- Make small circular movements with your fingers.
- Apply light pressure and increase gradually if needed.
- Avoid using excessive force or pulling on the skin.
- Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or pain, and adjust accordingly.
Using your fingertips can help you get more precise and focused pressure on the scar tissue, helping to break up adhesions and release tension. It is important not to use too much pressure as this can cause further damage or irritation to the scar area. Remember to always check with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment for scars.
Combine Massage With Other Treatments Such As Silicone Scar Gel
I highly recommend combining scar massage with other treatments such as silicone scar gel for maximum benefits. This is because the use of silicone gel through sheeting and elastomers has been shown to have a hydrating effect on the scar, which can further improve its appearance when combined with regular scar massage.
Additionally, applying silicone gel after massaging your scars can help to keep them hydrated, heal, and reduce inflammation while promoting collagen production.
Consider Seeking Advice From A Healthcare Provider Or Physical Therapist
It is always important to prioritize your safety and well-being when it comes to managing scar tissue. That is why considering the advice of a healthcare provider or physical therapist is crucial before embarking on any scar tissue massage.
They can provide professional guidance on how to properly massage your scars, recommend specific techniques that are best suited for you, and identify potential contraindications based on your medical history.
A healthcare provider or physical therapist can also help monitor the progress of your treatment plan and offer suitable modifications if necessary.
Scar Maturity And Healing Timeline
As mentioned earlier, scars can take a small amount to a long time to fully complete the healing process. During this process, the scar may change in color and texture. In general, scars tend to be red and inflamed for the first 3-9 months after healing.
Over time, they will begin to fade and flatten out as collagen fibers in the tissue mature.
While massage therapy is an effective way to improve circulation and promote faster healing of wounds after surgery or injury.
The best period for massaging scars usually falls within the first two years while it is still forming as doing so can help break up any developing adhesions before they become problematic.
That being said, no scar is too old for treatment if there are concerns about its appearance or discomfort levels experienced by patients.
However, extra precautions should be taken when dealing with older scars given their development over time could mean increased sensitivity at those points making them more prone towards infection than newer ones.
Duration Of The Scar
From the moment a scar forms, it continues to grow and evolve for about twelve to eighteen months. This means that scars are most malleable in their first year and can be effectively manipulated through massage therapy during this time.
The earlier and more regularly scar tissue is massaged, the less noticeable scars will become. However, even older scars can benefit from massage therapy as no scar is too old to allow for change and release adhesions.
Type Of Scar
Understanding the type of scar is crucial in determining the appropriate massage technique. There are several types of scars such as hypertrophic and keloid scars, contracture scars, and atrophic scars.
Hypertrophic and keloid scars result from an overproduction of collagen during wound healing, causing raised areas that can be itchy or painful. Contracture scars occur when a large area of skin is lost due to burns or other injuries, resulting in tightness and swelling that can limit movement.
Atrophic scars are sunken areas in the skin caused by acne, chickenpox, or injury. Each type requires specific techniques tailored to the individual’s needs for effective scar management through massage therapy.
Contraindications And Risks
It is important to be aware of the contraindications and risks associated with scar tissue massage. Massaging a scar too aggressively or before it has fully healed can damage the developing tissue, delay healing, and even cause infection.
Additionally, individuals with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications may have increased risk for complications during scar massage. It is always recommended to seek advice from a healthcare professional doctor or physical therapist before starting massaging scars.
Why High Society Mobile Massage Is A Great Option
High Society Mobile Massage provides a convenient and comfortable way to receive scar tissue massage in the comfort of your own home. With Marcus a highly trained and experienced massage therapist, he offers personalized treatment plans tailored to meet individual needs, ensuring that each client receives the best care possible.
Moreover, High Society Mobile Massage uses a range of techniques such as myofascial release, cross friction massage, and gentle effleurage to help break up adhesions in scar tissue.
They also use natural oils like vitamin E oil or baby oil on the affected area to soften and promote healing in the skin.
Overall, if you are looking for an effective way to reduce scarring and improve mobility after surgery or injury, consider trying out High Society Mobile Massage’s professional services.
Ready to book a massage that can help with your scar tissue? Click on the link Here!
Conclusion And Final Thoughts
In conclusion, it’s never too late to start scar tissue massage. Whether you’re recovering from surgery or dealing with an old injury, massaging your scars can help improve movement, regain feeling, and soften the appearance of scars.
Scar tissue release therapy can be done at any point in the healing process and can help break down adhesions regardless of how long ago the injury occurred.
It’s important to remember that gentle massage techniques should be used on fully healed wounds and that consulting a healthcare professional surgeon or physical therapist is always recommended.
High Society Massage
High Society Massage is a Mobile Massage Therapy Business.
Hi, my name is Marcus and I have worked hard to make massage as accessible as possible and my love for massage goes into every massage. Whether you suffer from Chronic Pain or just want to Relax. My 10+ Years of Experience will be able to help you.
It is not necessarily ever too late to start massaging scar tissue, but the earlier you begin the better. It’s important to note that massage should only be performed once the wound has healed and any sutures have been removed, as applying pressure prematurely can lead to further damage or infection.
Massage is a non-invasive method of improving circulation and reducing adhesions within the body’s tissues. This can help ease pain, reduce stiffness and improve range of motion in areas affected by scarring.
While regular massage may not fully remove existing scar tissue, it can certainly make a noticeable difference in how tight or painful the area feels over time. In some cases, more invasive treatments like surgery may be necessary for complete removal of larger scars.
Self-massage techniques designed for treating scars are generally considered safe if performed correctly without causing undue pressure on sensitive skin or areas around wounds that might still be healing. However, it may still be best to consult with a professional therapist before attempting any treatment on your own so they can suggest appropriate exercises and give guidelines for proper technique.
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