Scar tissue is a big problem if left unmanaged. Patients overcoming traumatic injury often have to cope with issues presented by scar tissue – things like restricted mobility and range of motion, or lack of flexibility. While scar tissue is part of the healing process, in some cases it’s the start of yet another recovery phase.
Ideal Spine urges chiropractors to consider the presence of scar tissue when adjusting patients. Especially for patients recovering from traumatic injury, accounting for scar tissue is important. It could affect the progress of a patient, the mode of treatment, or the capability of the patient to comply with treatment. Most importantly, it could affect how you plan and execute a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) recovery strategy.
Breaking up scar tissue
The good thing about scar tissue is that it can be broken up. Moreover, breaking up scar tissue isn’t detrimental to patients – in some cases it’s actually necessary to restore full movement or range of motion. And while some degree of scar tissue will always exist to mark a wound, the pliability and softness of that tissue can be treated. Chiropractors have access to several techniques for breaking down scar tissue.
- Graston technique. Using instrumentation, chiropractors target areas of thicker scar tissue and scrape it to gently break it down. Graston technique is useful for addressing scarring in prevalent soft-tissue areas, such as the legs, neck, and lower back.
- Instrument adjustment. Using an ArthroStim or other pulsating instrument, chiropractors can target specific areas of scar tissue buildup. The instrument rapidly massages these areas to improve pliability and reduce stress in the tissue.
- Affected manipulation. This technique relies on soothing the area of scar buildup before manually palpating it. Chiropractors may use light liniment oil for heat, TENS to loosen tension, or gentle numbing cream to soften sensitivity.
- Trigger point therapy. Trigger point therapy is useful in concentrating focus on heavily scarred areas of tissue, where buildup is substantial. Chiropractors focus on breaking down scar tissue while continually testing range of motion.
- Therapeutic massage. Many chiropractors will perform (or refer) therapeutic massage for patients with widespread scar tissue. This can be helpful in improving blood flow to affected areas and gently stimulating scar tissue to improve pliability.
Application of these techniques depends on the patient and the scarring. Graston technique may be best applied to the Achilles after surgery, while trigger point therapy and therapeutic massage may be best suited for soft tissue scarring after whiplash, for example.
Pay mind to scar tissue during adjustments
Scar tissue from recent injuries can often be felt during palpation, and radiological imaging will show old scar tissue. Chiropractors should take note of these areas when formulating a Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) adjustment schedule. Often, scar tissue will need its own focus, which may extend the CBP plan. It may also require a more thorough adjustment plan, to better acclimate the body.
Ideal Spine encourages chiropractors to consult with their patients and perform proper investigations before adjustments. Scar tissue may be something we all live with, but it has broad ramifications in treating other physiological conditions and spinal misalignments.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.