Scar tissue forms in our bodies when there has been an injury, and cells are destroyed. Scarring is a part of the body’s natural healing process, which can occur either on the skin’s surface or internally. The body rushes new cells to the site of the injury to replace the dead or damaged cells. Scar tissue acts as a protective barrier around the injured area, but it does not have the elasticity of normal tissue. When on the skin’s surface, it can cause cosmetic issues. But inside the body, scar tissue growth forms adhesions and fibrosis, which could cause medical issues.
Healthy fibrous connective tissue is made mainly of collagen, and it supports the body’s structural integrity. This tissue also contains fibroblasts, which are the cells that form the collagen, as well as carbohydrates and water. Although scars are also made up of fibrous connective tissue, researchers have discovered that it differs slightly in arrangement from normal skin.
What Causes Scar Tissue to Form Internally?
When trauma occurs in the body, it can cause fibrous bands or sheets to form. Also known as adhesions, these bands grow as a reaction to inflammation and can begin to grow between and join parts of the body. Fibrosis is another variation of scar tissue and consists of the excess buildup of fibrous connective tissue. Scar tissue may grow with no known reason for its origination but is often in response to surgery, infection, or severe injury.
Scar tissue often appears in organs such as in the lungs (pulmonary fibrosis) or the heart, which may be the result of a heart attack. Cirrhosis of the liver is a familiar example of normal tissue death being replaced by scar tissue due to abuse or infection. In the case of a back injury, scar tissue often forms and can inhibit movement, cause pain, and disrupt the correct functioning of the nervous system.
Adhesions may not have symptoms, but in the case of a back injury, the patient will often experience decreased movement or pain. Although adhesions may be removed surgically, this can also cause more scar tissue to form.
With back injuries specifically, scar tissue can form at the nerve root. While scar tissue doesn’t typically cause any pain directly, it can bind nerve roots together, or throw off the alignment of components of the spine – both of which can cause painful leg, neck or back pain.
Chiropractic Care for Scar Tissue Relief
Scar tissue in the body needs to undergo a process of remodeling, or a stretching of the tissue to realign the collagen fibers. Not only does alignment take place, but the scar tissue is strengthened to protect the body more competently.
The collagen alignment process will help the patient to maximize flexibility and increase mobility. Chiropractors utilize different methods to accomplish this goal non-surgically.
- Soft tissue manipulation typically involves utilizing a hand-held device to stimulate and stretch damaged tissues. This method can relieve inflammation and pain at the source.
- Kinesiology therapeutic tape can stretch scar tissue by lifting the skin and decreasing the pressure to the underlying tissue. This will help to alleviate inflammation as well as aid in the remodeling process.
- Massage therapy may help with remodeling by encouraging weak muscles to regain mobility, strength, and flexibility.
If you have had a back injury or back surgery and are suffering from lingering pain, call West Coast Wellness today. We can help to determine the cause of your pain and take the proper natural and safe methods to reduce inflammation and scar tissue. No need to learn to live with pain – call us today for an appointment.