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Managing Post-Surgery Scars with Physiotherapy

Scar formation is often a natural part of the post-surgical healing process. Scars are a good sign that everything’s going according to plan after surgery. Sometimes they can become troublesome if they get too tight or thick, especially in deeper tissue layers. That’s where physiotherapy comes in with smart ways to manage those scars.

Physiotherapy isn’t just about exercises and stretches. It also includes special techniques to help scars heal after surgery.

Now why is this important? Because scars that heal well help you move better, feel less pain and are aesthetically pleasing.

Our physiotherapists help you manage your scars and make sure they don’t get in the way of your daily activities or recovery.

Your scars can heal smoother and softer with the right care. Looking after your scars properly can even make them less noticeable over time. Keep reading to see how it’s done! 

Scars After Surgery: What you need to know

When you have surgery your body heals by making a scar. Think of it like your body’s way of putting a bandage on the inside. Sometimes these “inside bandages” can get a bit too tough and cause problems.

Why is that bad, you ask? Scar tissue is different from your regular skin. It doesn’t stretch and move the same.

That makes it harder to move around like you’re used to and might even hurt or feel weird.

Improperly healed scar tissue pulls on everything around it and doesn’t let you stretch out fully. If we don’t take care of these scars the right way they can make it tough to do everyday things.

That’s why simple PT exercises like gently moving and stretching are a great way of looking after your scar. It helps keep everything moving smoothly and stops the scar tissue after surgery from causing long-term trouble.

How Physiotherapy Helps with Post-Surgical Scars

Contrary to popular belief, PT isn’t just for sprains or back pain.

A lot of people don’t realise how physiotherapy and scar tissue correlate. PT can be a big help in managing surgical scarring. At Clearcut Physiotherapy clinics, we use special techniques to help heal scars better and cause fewer problems.

Let’s look at some of the ways we help you manage post-surgical scarring:

1.   Manual Scar Mobilization Techniques

For an expert therapist, their hands are the best tools.

Our physiotherapists use their hands in specific ways to help ease and improve the condition of your post-surgical scars. These methods are gentle yet effective in making the scarred area less troublesome.

Cross-fiber tissue massage helps the scar become more flexible. Physiotherapists help break up the tough bits in the scar by massaging across and along the scar. That makes it softer and less likely to cause problems when you move.

Similarly, the Myofascial Release technique expands beyond just your scar and helps ease tightness in the surrounding connective tissues and layers covering your muscles. It reduces feelings of tightness or discomfort by improving the flexibility of the scar and surrounding area.

2.   Modalities in Post-Surgical Scar Management

Modern physiotherapy includes several advanced techniques that enhance the healing and appearance of post-surgical scars.

Ultrasounds aren’t just for checking on babies or internal organs. Ultrasound therapy is an excellent scar management tool at Clearcut Physiotherapy clinics. We use sound waves to heat the scar tissue, which increases blood flow.

Better blood supply to the area encourages the body’s natural healing processes. This can help the scar heal faster and become less stiff.

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is another innovative technique used in physiotherapy for scars. It involves using specific light wavelengths to stimulate cell and tissue turnover. This helps reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and speed up healing. Using laser therapy helps make the scar less problematic and improves tissue health.

1.   Movement Strategies for Post-Surgical Scar Management

Physical therapy exercises are crucial for keeping the affected area flexible and functional after surgery. Our physiotherapists teach you how to gently stretch and mobilise the scar and surrounding tissues through guided stretching and mobilisation exercises.

These movements are designed to improve the elasticity of the scar and help you move with less pain. These customised movement strategies are crucial for preventing the scar from limiting your mobility.

Integrating Scar Management into Overall Rehab

Let’s dig into how you can work PT scar management into your post-surgical healing plan. Combining scar management with your rehabilitation means treating your body as a whole.

This holistic strategy is a balanced approach towards recovery and offers the following benefits:

  • Enhanced mobility and comfort: Addressing scar tissue after surgery can significantly improve your range of motion and decrease discomfort. That makes PT an essential component of overall rehab.
  • Simultaneous recovery: Scar management techniques help improve the condition of your scar while you work on regaining strength and mobility. Scar healing contributes to better outcomes in both appearance and function.
  • Comprehensive care: PT helps integrate the various aspects of your post-surgical recovery. That includes everything from the aesthetics of your scar to your physical capabilities.

Self-Management and Patient Education

We believe that educating patients on caring for their scars at home is crucial for their independence and empowerment. By learning self-management techniques you can actively participate in your own healing and enhance the outcomes of your scar treatment:

  • Self-massage techniques: We teach you how to gently massage your scars to improve tissue flexibility and blood flow. This is how you can reduce the buildup of scar tissue and desensitise the scar area to decrease discomfort.
  • Using silicone products: We give you clear and actionable instructions on how to apply silicone sheets or gels, if you choose them. These products help soften, flatten, and improve the colour of your scars.
  • Monitoring scar progression: One of the most crucial aspects of scar management at home is knowing what to look out for. We educate you on the natural progression of scar tissue after surgery and what to watch for. This enables you to detect any changes early.

Understanding the normal stages of scar maturation helps you know whether your scar is improving or if you need to consult your healthcare provider. You can improve the appearance and functionality of your scars simply by being informed and involved in your scar management.

Your Next Steps Towards Better Scar Healing

You’ve learned how the right physiotherapy techniques can make a big difference in healing your scars after surgery. These methods help your scar look better, stay pain-free and move more easily. Incorporating scar management into your rehabilitation plan is essential for your comprehensive recovery.

Now, it’s your turn to take the next step. Talk to one of our physiotherapists to learn the best ways to take care of your scar. Employing the best moves and methods means your scar heals nicely and with less pain. We can design a customised plan just for you.

Don’t wait to get started on making your scar better.

We have clinics in Eltham, Battersea and Norbury to help you on your healing journey post-surgery. Reach out today to learn all you can do and take an active role in your healing. By working together you can aim for your best healing inside and out.