Scar Tissue Onion
Scar tissue, or fascial adhesions, accumulates in the body whenever tissue undergoes excess stress and strain. Scar tissue is like the body's duct tape; it is meant as a short term patch to help support tissue. Most of the time the body replace fascial adhesions patches, but sometimes it forgings.
The next time a scar tissue patch undergoes stress and strain it becomes aggravated and flares up. This process causes more fascial adhesions to be added to the outside of the patch. This process can repeat itself over and over, leading to larger patches.
I like to describe scar tissue patches as “onions.” Scar tissue ends up growing in layers around the initial injury. Stress to the area aggravates the outside layers and triggers another layer to be formed. The layers further from the center are easier to aggravate than inside layers, which is why the onion continues to grow in size without causing the inside area to properly repair.
Many people experience this concept with chronic neck and shoulder pain. People come into the office complaining of knots in their muscles that cause them pain and never go away. A massage helps decrease the pain but the knots never disappear. Their neck and shoulder pain always begins in the exact same spots and becomes easier to aggravate over time. What once was a little pain after five long days at the computer unexpectedly turns into constant dull pain with average workloads. The spots are always tender to the touch but feel better when rubbed.
These knots are scar tissue expressions that have grown in size over time. Stress and strain from daily activities begin to overwhelm the scar tissue reactions, leading to pain, discomfort, and muscle spasms. Holding your head up makes the neck muscles work through the day, which places strain on theions. Slouching makes the muscles work even harder. Slouching with your shoulders rounded and reaching towards the computer really strains the neck muscles, placing more strain on the scar tissue.
Scar tissue patches are not able to handle the workload that is placed upon the muscles, which causes the outer layers to become chronically aggravated.
Treatment comes down to some basic concepts. Reduce the stress and strain to the injured areas. Tear up scar patches and allow the body to replace it with proper tissue. Home therapies are recommended to limit further scar tissue formation, encourage proper healing, and speed up recovery.
Graston Technique works by stretching the outer layer of the onion and breaking it into several pieces. The broken ends trigger healing mechanisms to build proper tissue. Ice helps limit additional fascial adhesions formation and pain. On the following visit we break up the next layer of tissue adhesions, working toward the center of the occasion. The goal is to get to the center of the incident so the body fixes the original problem.
Graston Technique is not meant to be painful and should be performed at a comfortable tolerable level to break up fascial adhesions. Trying to be too aggressive with Graston or massage causes excessive pain and actually slows the repair process by flooding the area with inflammation. Most people notice a significant difference after 4-6 visits. Larger comments may require much more treatment, and everyone recovers at different rates. Some people have very small onions that create a lot of pain and can resolve quickly.