Massage Therapy for Surgical Scars & Digestive Challenges

| Categorized: Broadway Wellness News, Vancouver Massage Therapy.

You would not necessarily link your abdominal surgical scar to digestive concerns you may have developed after the fact, but in some cases there can be a direct link.  The connective tissue, or fascia, in our abdominal cavity is a series of connected sheets of slippery, sliding tissue, there to protect and allow freedom of our digestive and reproductive organs. 

Abdominal surgeries are usually vital, sometimes lifesaving, and although the surgeon never intends a resulting adhesion, sometimes this cannot be avoided. Abdominal adhesions are bands of scar tissue that form between abdominal organs. Adhesions occur after abdominal surgery and can cause your tissues to stick together, when normally they would just move around freely.

Common adhesions with a cross-section surgery (C-Section) involve the large intestine, affecting bowel movements (IBS), the bladder, affecting bladder control (incontinence), and the uterus itself, possibly creating more painful cycles.   Adhesions can form near a previous incision, so the adhesion itself depends on the location of the surgery.

Unfortunately, abdominal adhesions can be difficult to detect. Imaging technology (such as X-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans) cannot detect abdominal adhesions. However, those studies can detect intestinal blockages or certain other complications related to adhesions.  Part of a fascial massage therapy treatment is assessing and detecting adhesions resulting from scars.

The goal in the case of abdominal adhesions is to create softening of the scar, and as much three-dimensional freedom of the area as possible. Because structure and function are intricately connected, softening the scar can be helpful where a compromised structure has led to some functional issues.  A manual approach to changing and softening surgical adhesions involves a series of fascial techniques (loading the scar tissue, holding, and waiting for softening and release without the use of oil or lotion).

Several Vancouver Registered Massage Therapists at Broadway Wellness offer treatments to address scar tissue. You can read our therapists bios here.


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