Scar Tissue. Adhesion. Fibrosis. “Knots”. Different words for the same concept of the dense, fibrous tissues that can form in our muscles and soft tissues

Formed by a tearing or crushing injury to a muscle, tendon or ligament, the body creates scar tissue to “glue” the torn pieces together. A necessary part of the body’s healing mechanism. Although more commonly formed by not receiving enough oxygen to the soft tissue (Hypoxia). Things like poor posture, athletic pursuits, repeated use and sustained pressure (i.e. sitting) cause an increase in muscle tension. When muscle tension is increased, good blood supply to the area is reduced. A healthy blood flow is important because blood carries oxygen to the muscles. Reduced blood flow means less oxygen, hypoxia, and then vulnerability and dysfunction.

The resulting abnormal stress on the adhesions surrounding structures may include: nerve impingement, pain, numbness, limited range of motion, limited flexibility, postural misalignments, muscle atrophy, tissue hypoxia, and increased potential for re-injury.

The body does not have a natural process to remove adhesions. The standard medical response is still mostly pain killers, anti-inflammatories and rest. Drugs can actually slow down the healing process, allowing re-injury during normal activities because there is no pain to signal the additional damage that may occur. Registered Massage Therapists and bodyworkers addressing adhesions early in development can help minimize their effects, and break the muscular pain cycle at its root, accelerating the healing process and restoring muscular balance in a lasting way.

Suzanne Shynkaruk, RMT