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Physical Therapy Breaking Up Scar Tissue

Three benefits of breaking up scar tissue with physical therapy

It’s not uncommon for people to have scars on their skin. A kitchen knife slips and cuts you. Falling and badly scraping your knees. These are just a few of the ways that people commonly develop scars.

However, scars can also develop inside the body, too. Often, this type of scar tissue develops around surgery sites or injuries to soft tissue. For instance, research shows that up to 100% of patients develop scar tissue, called adhesions, after gynecologic surgery. Physical therapy is an option that can help break up scar tissue naturally. 

One type of physical therapy that effectively breaks up scar tissue

There are several physical therapy methods that can help with breaking up scar tissue. One of the most effective methods is called instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM). This technique makes use of metal tools. The tools are designed to fit specific areas of the body, and they allow therapists to apply therapeutic pressure. It’s this pressure that helps break up adhesions. 

Additionally, IASTM can offer several other important benefits. Three of the benefits it can provide include: 

  1. Reducing pain at the site of the scar — IASTM has been shown to increase blood flow to the area where the adhesion is located. This can help wash away substances in the body that trigger pain. One study shows that four IASTM sessions reduced the pain of female collegiate volleyball players enough to allow them to return to playing. 
  1. Improving soft tissue function — Soft tissue makes up many structures of the body. This means that adhesions can develop in various areas. Studies reveal that IASTM helps improve the function of soft tissue where scar tissue has developed. Researchers from one study found that five IASTM sessions increased functional scores by up to 44% in basketball players with patellar tendon injuries. 
  1. Increasing joint range of motion — Often, scarring in soft tissue near a joint can make it more difficult to move the joint normally. Medical research has shown that IASTM can help increase joint range of motion (ROM). One study reveals that just one IASTM session helped increase shoulder ROM by more than 11 degrees in collegiate baseball players.

SOL Physical Therapy offers physical therapy for breaking up scar tissue

At SOL Physical Therapy, you’ll find physical therapy that can help break up scar tissue. Our team will start your recovery process by performing a complimentary screening. The information gathered during your screening will then be used to design a therapy plan that’s personalized to your needs. 

Worried about leaving home for physical therapy during the COVID-19 pandemic? You don’t have to. Our team is currently offering virtual care appointments and at-home therapy sessions. Both services allow you to get the therapy you need without leaving home. Even better, you can use any of our services without waiting to get a doctor’s referral. 

Ready to start getting help with your adhesions? Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment. 

About the author

Sports + Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy & Performance Training serves the communities of Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Orinda, San Francisco and beyond. SOLPT’s award winning team of Physical Therapists, Performance Coaches and movement experts has helped thousands reach their rehabilitation and performance goals to move beyond pain. We're committed to helping anyone of any fitness level move effectively and more powerfully for a lifetime. We offer rehabilitation and performance services to all populations, with specialties in Sports Rehabilitation, Active Release Techniques, and Manual Therapy Techniques plus Personal and Small Group Training, Sport Clinics and Wellness Services.