Internal scar tissue is the result of internal trauma such as surgery or torn tissues due to athletic overexertion. As the body heals the injury, internal scar tissue (fibrous connective tissue) builds up to protect the wound. Usually scar tissue does not present a problem but sometimes it can become extremely painful. Scar tissue can, depending on the location, grow and attach itself to another internal part of the body. This can disrupt the body system, especially if a part of the body becomes blocked and certain organ functions cease. Therapy can help the reduction of internal scar tissue.
Deep tissue massage therapy is the application of deep pressure and friction on internal tissue. The therapist finds scar tissue and rubs, applying force on the adhesion, to break down the excess tissue. This increases circulation and movement of organ function, and reduces pain and swelling due to scar tissue.
Deep tissue massage therapy can be somewhat painful because of the intense pressure placed on an already sensitive area. It is necessary to apply this pressure so the scar tissue can be broken up and pain can be relieved in the long run.
Deep tissue massage therapy breaks down the internal scar tissue. The R.I.C.E. method is used to minimize swelling, allowing the blood to circulate and keep the scar tissue from building back up. If R.I.C.E. is implemented immediately following an injury, it can curtail scar tissue from forming in the first place. R.I.C.E. stands for rest, ice, compress, elevate. The amount of time for each component varies with each patient and should be discussed with a doctor or therapist. After a massage therapy session, it is vital to rest the affected part of the body. This means refraining from workouts or sports. Even moderate walking should be avoided if the injury is in your legs, buttocks, back or shoulders. Ice should be kept on the injury site for 10- to 20-minute intervals every couple of hours. Compression is applying pressure to the injury. Compression is used during icing. The therapist or doctor may recommend wrapping the injury, also a means of compression, if it is at the site of a joint to keep pressure on it. The final component of R.I.C.E is elevation. Keep the affected area elevated above heart level to increase circulation flow to the injury to aid the healing process.
With several massage therapy sessions followed by R.I.C.E., internal scar tissue can be greatly reduced. The amount of sessions depends on the severity of the injury. If the internal scar tissue is not reduced and pain is ongoing, surgery to remove excess scar tissue may be necessary.