"Muscle scar tissue usually forms after an injury. The scar tissue that forms doesn't function as optimally as the old tissue did, and therefore can cause pain. While muscle scar tissue can be painful, it may not always be apparent while you are exercising, unless the scar tissue is being stretched....When connective tissue is injured, the nerve tissue in that surrounding area is injured as well. When nerve tissue is damaged, it reacts by growing smaller, immature nerve branches, which the Doctor Schierling website explains are up to 1,000 times more pain sensitive than normal tissue." http://www.livestrong.com/article/531583-does-muscle-scar-tissue-cause-pain-during-exercise/
"A build up of scar tissue makes muscles feel tight or achy, possible weak. This build-up or web-like 'muscle plaque' fixes itself in muscles, tendons or ligaments and can cause imbalance and pain. Scar tissue can also:
"Muscles that are in a constant state of tension or contraction will result in 'Tissue Hypoxia'. Not enough blood and oxygen flows within the muscle. A muscle that is tight is a muscle that is having to do work to stay tight, meaning that it is burning energy, and needs oxygen and glucose and other nutrients. But with a decreased blood supply, the muscle begins to starve and chemical damage occurs. This leads to the same process of inflammation, bleeding and scar-tissue adhesion buildup. Injuring just a few microscopic strands of muscle leads to bleeding. Bleeding signals fibroblasts to come into the area and begin preparing the scar-tissue adhesion.
"The entire injured area then becomes 'sticky'. Sticky "fibrin glue" seeps throughout the layers of damaged muscle like a web. As the healing process completes itself, the glue leads to a tough scar tissue buildup. The big problem with this process is that the body is NOT very specific about what it 'glues' together. What happens most of the time, is it glues ALL the tissue in the area back together... whether it's damaged or not! The Vicious Adhesion / Cumulative Injury Cycle: Whether it's a small strain of your forearm muscles or years of tight hip flexors from sitting at a computer, the result often has to do with inflammation and scar tissue build up over time. If not treated early, the cycle continues, and the problem worsens."
- Immature – Immediately after a wound heals, the scar is immature. During this period it may be painful, itchy or sensitive as nerve endings within the tissue heal. While it is typically red in appearance, most scars fade to normal flesh color with maturation. Exercise, massage and heat application will have the greatest positive effect on an immature scar.
- Mature – Depending on the size and depth of the wound, scar tissue will cease production 3 to 18 months following wound healing. When scar tissue is no longer produced, the scar is considered mature. While techniques to reduce scar tissue in a mature scar are effective, a more disciplined and vigorous approach is necessary.
Six TechniquesAs soon as the wound is knitted, massage therapy can be performed. During the initial immature stages of wound recovery, it is imperative that a gentle approach be taken. The following six techniques are well-known ways bodyworkers can improve scar tissue:
- Manual Lymph Drainage optimizes lymphatic circulation and drainage around the injured area. Gentle, circular, draining motions within the scar itself or a firm stretch to the skin above and below the scar, first in a straight line and then in a circular motion, are two drainage techniques. Placing the fingers above the scar, then making gentle circular pumping motions on the scar also helps drain congested lymph fluid. As the massage therapist gently works down the scar, the tissue will feel softer. Drainage techniques should not hurt or make the scar redden.
- Myofascial Release helps ease constriction of the affected tissue. To stretch the skin next to the scar, place two or three fingers at the beginning of the scar and stretch the skin above the scar in a parallel direction. Then move the fingers a quarter of an inch further along the scar and repeat the stretch of the adjacent tissue, working your way along the scar. An alternative method is to follow the same pattern of finger movements using a circular motion instead of straight stretches. Work your way along the scar in a clockwise and counterclockwise fashion.
- Deep Transverse Friction can prevent adhesion formation and rupture unwanted adhesions. Applied directly to the lesion and transverse to the direction of the fibers, this deep tissue massage technique can yield desirable results in a mature or immature scar. Never progress beyond a client’s comfort level.
- Lubrication of the scar helps soften and increase its pliability. Mediums such as lotion, castor oil, vitamin E oil or other oil can prevent the scar from drying out and re-opening.
- Stretching aids in increasing range of motion. This is most important when approaching scars that cross over a joint. Scar tissue will lengthen after being stretched, especially if the stretch is sustained for several seconds and is combined with massage.
- Heat Application helps the pliability and flexibility of the scar. Common tools used to apply heat are paraffin wax, moist heat packs or ultrasound." http://www.integrativehealthcare.org/mt/archives/2007/07/six_massage_tec.html
"Physical Therapy Exercises for Abdominal Adhesions