Healing C-Section Scars

Healing C-Section Scars

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Nearly one out of every three mothers will give birth through c-section.  And unfortunately they are not being instructed in how to properly care for their scar, besides being told to avoid too much lifting and to watch for signs of infection such as redness and fever.

A c-section is a major surgery and the external scar is only part of what is actually healing.  Scar tissue begins forming immediately after surgery, and because it lies down in a multi-directional pattern, it is even stronger than the original tissue.  Scar tissue also attaches to structures all around it, allowing it to span outside of the uterus to bones, muscles, nerves, viscera and connective tissue.

A c-section scar can cause postural dysfunction if the tightness is not allowing a person to stand upright, leading to more pain in other areas of the body.  It can also lead to muscular pain, connective tissue dysfunction and nerve issues in and around the pelvis.  Ultimately causing symptoms such as pelvic pain, bladder issues, bowel distress and painful intercourse.

Therefore mobilization of the scar is vital for proper healing and overall function.  Mobilization breaks down the scar so that the fibers run more uniformly, and promotes blood flow to decrease adhesions, lessen pain and improve mobility.  No two scars are alike, so though working on a scar can minimize it’s size and reduce redness, the goal is really aimed at function.  After the initial and very important period of rest, and once the scar has completely healed (6-8 weeks), a woman should be able to be cleared by her doctor or midwife to begin scar tissue mobilization.

 

MOBILIZING THE SCAR TISSUE:  You can do this by lying on your back with knees bent (having them straight makes the work a little more intense since that stretches the front of the body)

ASSESS:  Using a few fingers (whatever feels most comfortable) gently press into the scar and move the scar up/down, right/left and diagonal.  Continue along the scar to get an idea of where along the scar the tissue moves the least and where the scar might feel more sensitive/painful.  {if the scar is too painful to touch, you can begin by mobilizing the tissue above and below the scar first}

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MOBILIZE:  Using the same fingers from the assessment, with a very small amount of lotion or oil, spend about 30-60 seconds at each point along the scar to mobilize it in all the directions mentioned. Move from one end to the other end slowly.  This should take about 5 minutes.

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Improvements in scar tissue mobility can be affected years after a c-section, so it’s never too late to get started.  And if you are having pain or symptoms of dysfunction, it would be worth your while to have a thorough physical therapy assessment from a women’s health therapist.  This way a specific treatment plan, including other treatment options could be tailored specifically for you and your symptoms.

 

Allison Oswald

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Healing C-Section Scars

  1. This was a great read for me. I personally have had 2 separate c-sections. The second only 4 months ago – and I still experience some slight aches and pain. I will be trying this.

    Thanks!

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