What is Scar Tissue Massage?

This therapy focuses on the treatment of a scar that forms on the skin surface as well as scar tissue that forms within the deeper dermis and underlying soft tissues including muscles, tendons, ligaments and myofascia. Scar Tissue Massage, or as it is also know Scar Massage, incorporates a mixture of Massage, Myofascial Release Therapy and where wanted and appropriate Medical Acupuncture (Dry Needling), to achieve this goal.

What are the main objectives of Scar Tissue Massage?

Scar Tissue Massage is a process of breaking down and remodelling scar tissue which has formed in the soft tissues of the body to make these soft tissues return to full or fuller function. On occasions I have found that remodelling scar tissue in the torso has also lead to improved digestive functioning and comfort in the organs where scar tissue has also affected the visceral fascia which wraps around and has constricted the internal organs.

This type of masssage can help decrease scar tissue build up and make a visible scar less noticeable. It can reduce palpable hardness in and around the scar itself and restriction in the soft tissues. Pain and discomfort relief is also a notable benefit of receiving Scar Tissue Massage.

In the case of treating post surgical scar tissue my clients have reported the following improvements:

  • Pain relief
  • Improved flexibility in the scar tissue itself
  • Improved flexibility and comfort levels in the soft tissues affected by the surgery
  • Improved flexibility and comfort levels in the soft tissues related to the original cause of the surgery in the cases of conditions such as insertion of metal plates/pins/spinal rods, traumatic injury or nerve dysfunction
  • A reduction in the ‘puckered up’ appearance that often surrounds a recent scar and can additionally promote a better sense of both emotional and mental acceptance of their scar after treatment

Which types of Scaring can Scar Tissue Massage benefit?

Internal scar tissue that occurs due to a strain to the muscles, tendons and myofascia (muscle covering) or sprain to ligaments or injury relating to these soft tissues tends to respond very well to Scar Tissue Massage. The benefits of massaging these soft tissues and releasing associated adhesions is highly recommended as part of the recovery process once the relevant area is healed sufficiently to be safely worked on.

With other types of scarring, there is a general consensus that post surgical scar tissue benefits the most from Scar Tissue Massage, especially if undertaken promptly after the scar itself has healed.

Post surgical scar tissue includes:

  • Caesarean Section (C-Section) scars
  • Surgical incision scars including keyhole surgery
  • Scar tissue that is created in the process of the performance of any surgical procedure
  • Scar tissue that forms around surgically implanted metal plates, joint replacements, metal pinning of broken bones and spinal fusion rods

It is negligible whether Scar Tissue Massage can benefit stretch marks so I do not undertake Scar Tissue Massage for this purpose.

In relation to Keloid scar tissue there are greatly mixed reports on whether Scar Tissue Massage can reliably reduce or stop scar tissue fibre production. In some cases it has been reported production may even increase. Until more positive or conclusive evidence is available I tend to avoid Scar Tissue Massage on Keloid scars. The only exception to this is if a client wishes to try it and is fully aware of the potential risk that more fibre production may potentially occur.

When can Scars and Scar Tissue be massaged?

Scar Tissue Massage should be undertaken within two years of the time the scar occurred or scar tissue was formed. It is considered negligible whether treatment after this two year period will be effective in treating any scar or scar tissue after this time, although any muscular or myofascial restrictions that have formed around it will still respond to treatment where scar tissue itself may no longer be able to do so.

Any scar or scar tissue should be fully healed in advance of having Scar Tissue Massage to ensure no additional damage or scar tissue formation occurs. There are many guidelines on when a scar can be considered fully healed, but any time lengths are average guidelines only and your personal circumstances will be affected by all of the following, which is far from a comprehensive list:

  • Your age
  • The nutritional value in your diet
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your current state of health
  • Any factor you may be currently experiencing, or recently have experienced, that has affected your immune system
  • How much you have rested during the healing process
  • Any complications that may have occurred during your healing process such as infection or not resting sufficiently during healing

Please seek the advice of your General Practitioner (GP) or surgeon before attending an Appointment to receive Scar Tissue Massage if there is any possibility your scar and/or scar tissue under the skin surface is not yet sufficiently healed.

Additional Information in relation to Scar Tissue Massage