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Could you have scar tissue buildup and not know it?

I’ve been saying this a lot lately and I’m going to say it again: I love treating scar tissue because it’s so easy and painless to treat. One thing I’m learning in treating this, though, is that many people—medical professionals included—don’t realize or consider scar tissue and adhesions to be a cause of pain or movement restrictions. I’ll say that with a caveat, as runners and athletes do. They don’t usually waste any time before coming in. Usually less than a year after a surgery, they’re noticing a catch or movement restrictions, like a hernia surgery and now their hip catches when they’re on an incline.

About half of the people who come in to see me are coming in for pain. I hear, “Give me acupuncture, I’ve tried everything else and nothing else is helping, so this is my last resort.” Neck pain, back pain, etc. Maybe it’s gotten so bad it’s hard for the chiropractor to even adjust it anymore. I’ve had a few thyroid surgery patients like that.

People don’t realize they have scar tissue buildup, most of the time, unless they’ve been told they do. I’ve met four patients so far that knew they had pain or other concerns caused by scarring. One couldn’t move his ankle after six surgeries, and the others have had so many abdominal surgeries (hernias, appendectomies and a hysterectomy) so they knew that a lot of their current digestive issues were caused by adhesions, but didn’t want another surgery to remove those adhesions. Another woman, who I did a Facebook Live video with, has had multiple facial reconstructive surgeries due to being born with a cleft palate. She knew she had scarring, but had no clue how much it affected her hearing, vision, sinuses and overall health, until we treated it.

In my practice someone might seek help from me for something like neck pain. We’ll try a few treatments and they get better, the pain is gone. But the range of motion still isn’t there, no pain, just stiffness. Then they mention they had surgery, maybe thyroid surgery for example, but hadn’t mentioned it up until that point. That scar tissue is what the body did to heal the initial wound, but now it’s just there and gluing tissues together. It is a large contributing factor to their current pain or ailment. I even had someone recently who never thought to mention that they’d had a partial hysterectomy because they’d come in for knee pain. Simply releasing the scarring and adhesions from the psoas and small bowel made the knee pain and swelling go away. Or all the surrounding adhesions after thyroid surgery.

Internal adhesions don’t always have to be post surgical. Leaky gut, parasites or something of that nature can lead to inflammation and chronic inflammation. That chronic inflammation is what leads to adhesions. Or maybe an initial surgery was successful, but then there was a post-op infection. That infection led to massive inflammation causing tissues to get glued together. People don’t typically know this in most cases, of course. The person just knows they’re suffering from back pain, or intercourse is painful and it started a few years ago, and it hasn’t been constant until recently. Or there’s pain in certain positions, laying down is fine, but standing up is painful and can’t figure out why. In that case the gravity is causing the adhered tissue to pull and tug on that area, so there’s a deep pain that’s felt in only a few positions.

Traditional treatments to prevent adhesions include things like oral enzymes to soften scar tissue and help reduce inflammation. Manual therapy and specialized massage techniques to reduce adhesions. The problem with that is sometimes when you remove adhesions the internal tissue can bleed, causing pain and leading to further adhesions. Surgery is another treatment, but surgery to remove adhesions caused by a previous surgery will inevitably lead to further adhesions. Traditional treatments are just not effective.

Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) has the ability to release scar tissue and adhesions from anywhere in the body. It’s virtually painless. I have to say virtually because once and a while a patient has so much pain that even the slightest touch causes pain, but for the most part, it’s painless. The patient needs to be hydrated for the treatment to be effective, as even though its subsensory, it’s quite powerful. Someone with scarring or other adhesions typically feels quite a bit of change and relief during even the first session. FSM is performed with a device to deliver a mild electrical current to the areas being treated. The electrical current used in this treatment is extremely mild: one millionth of an ampere, so the patient doesn’t feel the current at all. Such a small amount of electrical current is safe. If there are movement restrictions, chronic pain, digestive issues after trauma or surgery, it’s something that can be very helpful.

Pamela Kososki, founder of Valley Chronic Pain, is a licensed acupuncturist with a master’s degree in Oriental Medicine and bachelor’s in Nutrition. She continuously strives to improve her patients’ outcomes by studying with experts around the world. She has a passion for women’s health concerns, orthopedics and mental health and how to help conditions like these with a holistic approach. You can find out more by visiting valleysportsacu.com or calling 920-422-4910.

“That scar tissue is what the body did to heal the initial wound, but now it’s just there and gluing tissues together. It is a large contributing factor to their current pain or ailment.”

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