(416) 431-9791

Opening Hours

8am - 8pm, Monday to Friday,   9am - 5pm, Saturday and Sunday

Causing Pain Somewhere Seemingly Unrelated

Scars tell stories. Whether they are the result of an injury, surgery, or even acne, scars are permanent reminders of past traumas to our skin and underlying tissues. While they may fade over time, some scars can leave a lasting impact on our bodies, affecting more than just our appearance. Surprisingly, scars can influence our biomechanics and cause pain in areas seemingly unrelated to the original injury site.

Massage therapy has been proven to be a valuable tool in providing pain relief for individuals suffering from chronic pain related to scars and scar tissue. Scars can often cause discomfort and restricted movement, but the skilled hands of a massage therapist can work wonders in alleviating these symptoms. Through targeted techniques, massage therapy can help break down scar tissue, improve blood circulation, and promote healing in the affected area. Furthermore, the release of endorphins during a massage session can provide a natural form of pain relief, offering much-needed respite for those living with chronic pain. The power of touch combined with the knowledge and expertise of a massage therapist can truly make a difference in improving the quality of life for individuals struggling with scar-related chronic pain.

The Biomechanics of the Human Body

Before delving into the connection between scars and biomechanics, it’s essential to understand what biomechanics is. Biomechanics is the study of the mechanical aspects of living organisms, including how our muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons work together to create movement. It explores how forces are distributed throughout the body during various activities and how these forces can impact different parts of the body.

The Fascinating World of Scars

Scars form as a natural part of the body’s healing process. The body’s repair mechanisms kick in when our skin or tissues are damaged. Collagen, a protein responsible for the strength and structure of our skin, is produced in excess during the healing process, resulting in the formation of a scar. While scars serve a crucial purpose in wound closure and tissue repair, they can sometimes lead to unexpected consequences.

Changing Biomechanics

Scars can significantly alter the biomechanics of an individual. Here’s how:

Altered Tissue Properties

Scar tissue is not the same as the tissue it replaces. It is often stiffer and less flexible, which can affect how the surrounding tissues move and function. This alteration in tissue properties can lead to joint mobility, muscle function, and overall biomechanics changes.

Restriction of Movement

Depending on their size and location, scars can restrict the range of motion in nearby joints. This restriction can force the body to compensate, leading to altered movement patterns and biomechanical stress on other areas of the body.

Nerve Impingement

Scars can compress or impinge on nearby nerves, leading to increased sensation / pain, decreased sensation, numbness tingling or loss of sensation.  The nerve impulse to muscles may also be reduced, causing weakness or atrophy.

Fascial Connections

 Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds the body’s muscles, organs, and other structures. Scars can disrupt the continuity of fascial planes, leading to tension and altered biomechanics in distant regions.  For example, an abdominal scar ( particularly C-Sections) could cause low back pain or hip discomfort due to fascial pulls.

The Domino Effect: Pain in Unrelated Areas

Now that we understand how scars can affect biomechanics let’s explore how this can result in pain seemingly unrelated to the scar site:

Compensation Patterns

When a scar alters biomechanics, the body often compensates to maintain functionality. This can lead to overuse of certain muscles or joints, ultimately causing pain in those areas.

Referred Pain

 As mentioned earlier, scars can impinge on soft tissues and fascial, causing referred pain in different parts of the body. This phenomenon can be confusing, as the source of pain may not be apparent.

Altered Posture

 Changes in biomechanics due to scars can lead to alterations in posture. Poor posture can cause musculoskeletal pain in various regions, such as the neck, shoulders, or lower back.

Chronic Pain

Over time, the cumulative effects of altered biomechanics can contribute to chronic pain conditions. These conditions can be complex and challenging to diagnose and treat, as the root cause may be a scar in a distant location.

Massage therapy for pain relief

Scars are not just skin-deep; they can profoundly impact the biomechanics of the human body, causing pain in areas seemingly unrelated to the original injury or surgical site. Understanding this hidden connection between scars and biomechanics is essential for healthcare professionals and individuals alike. However, massage therapy has shown promising results in providing relief for these types of pain. By targeting the underlying scar tissue and addressing any associated biomechanical changes, massage therapists can help alleviate discomfort and improve overall function. Whether you’re dealing with surgical scars, injury-related scars, or even emotional scars, seeking the expertise of a skilled massage therapist can be a game-changer in your pain management journey.

Although all massage therapists are trained in scar treatments, at Bellesmere Massage Therapy, we have therapists with advanced training in the treatment of scar tissue. To learn more about how our RMTs can help you find pain relief, visit our services page, Scar Release Therapy, or book an appointment online.