If you’ve had a caesarean birth (C-section), it is recommended you come in for an assessment to assess your C-section scar and start treating the area with scar massage. C-sections should be considered major abdominal surgery and mothers who have had a c-section often require more time to recover both physically and emotionally. Whenever an incision has been made, a scar may form as part of the healing process and the body begins to lay down scar tissue from collagen (a tough fibrous protein). It is important to note that scar tissue is not only what you can see on the surface, but it can extend into deeper layers below the skin. Generally, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for your stitches to heal.
At times, the irregular patterns of collagen fibres/scar tissue can create issues for new mothers including:
-pain/sensitivity at and around the scar especially in the pelvic or abdominal region
-reduced mobility and elasticity; making bending forward and lifting uncomfortable
-feeling like that area is being pulled/tugged on, when standing up straight and reaching overhead, which can affect your posture
-low back pain from weak abdominal muscles
-myofascial trigger points in abdominal muscles that can refer pain to the urethra and clitoris
-superficial nerve irritation surrounding the area of the scar
-urinary urgency and frequency
Treatment may consist of:
-hands on therapy to manipulate/mobilise the scar and surrounding tissues in all different directions using skin rolling techniques, and pressing and rubbing motions. Massage aids in making scars less noticeable and improve muscle function and tissue mobility by breaking down restricted movements of the scar (called adhesions).
-prescription of compression garments
- advice on silicone scar sheets
-k-tape application to flatten scar tissue
-prescription of safe exercises to strengthen and mobilise abdominal muscles
See my post here on scar tissue massage