Following an injury, one of the most common remembrances we have of our accident is the scar tissue that remains beneath the surface of the skin. As this scar tissue collects, you may notice that it does not have the mobility or stretch of uninjured soft tissue. Luckily, chiropractic care can help remodel scar tissue.
Why Does Scar Tissue Form?
Scar tissue is the result of injury or surgery to tissue, such as muscles, tendons, ligaments or skin. The development of scar tissue is a normal reaction to the body's natural healing process. Scar tissue typically forms after the inflammatory process reacts to heal the injury site. In this process, the body cleanses the affected site and rushes new cells to the point of injury in order to repair damage to the tissue.
What is Scar Tissue Made of?
Scar tissue is comprised mostly of collagen. In general, collagen is found in all of our body parts. From muscles and tendons to bones and teeth, and even in our skin, collagen is a key substance in the human body. A major reason why collagen is so prevalent in the body is because of its tensile strength. Even under extreme tension, collagen will resist breaking and tearing.
When the body sends new cells to repair an injured area, a percentage of those new cells are collagen cells. However, the body is not able to arrange new collagen cells into healthy tissue properly. Instead, the cells become a condensed clump of tissue, referred to as scar tissue. This new tissue lacks the ability to tolerate tensile or stretching forces.
Chiropractic Care for Scar Tissue
Scar tissue in the body does not need to be permanent by any means. To strengthen scar tissue and increase its ability to withstand force, it must go through a process called remodeling. Essentially, remodeling scar tissue simply means to stretch the scar tissue such that the collagen fibers can realign themselves.
This process of aligning collagen will increase flexibility and mobility in connective tissues. At ChiroCare of Florida, we offer a variety of techniques to help remodel scar tissue.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation (IASTM) is performed using a hand-held device that stimulates the stretching of damaged tissue and scar tissue. At ChiroCare of Florida, we utilize the Graston Technique, which is an evidence-backed treatment that promotes flexibility at the cellular level. Additionally, the Graston Technique alleviates pain and reduces inflammation in the injured site.
Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape
Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape (KT Tape) rose in popularity after many famous athletes were spotted with strips of thin, light-weight tape covering their muscles at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. KT Tape is helpful in stretching scar tissue by placing the tape in an "I" or "Y" strip across the skin along the side of the scar, moving in the direction of scar tissue movement restriction.
KT Tape gently lifts the skin, decreasing the pressure applied to the tissue underneath. This allows fluid to easily reach the afflicted area, decreasing pain and inflammation. This stretching will also aid in the remodeling necessary for scar tissue.
To remodel your scar tissue, your chiropractor may suggest massage therapy. Massage therapy utilizes soft tissue manipulation to encourage stiff, weak tissue to regain mobility and flexibility. With massage therapy, your chiropractor can assist existing soft tissue to gain strength and the ability to tolerate tension and stretchiness required of connective tissue.
Restoring Proper Tissue Function
Following an injury or surgery, scar tissue can leave you feeling like your mobility and flexibility is still limited. Contact ChiroCare of Florida today to discuss how we can remodel your scar tissue and have you feeling your best again.