Scars? Physiotherapy can help you!

Scars.  You have them from injuries or surgery but often no one tells you what to do about them if they bother you.  Some women find scar pain is present in scars following a c-section.  Other people find scars post mastectomy can be painful for quite a long period of time.  Most people don’t know that there are a few things that can be done to help with scar pain or that a scar can benefit from remodelling of a sort.

Why should a scar be remodeled?

1. It can help decrease pain
2. It can improve range of motion in the surrounding joint and muscle
3. It restores normal mobility and function

A scar needs to be assessed and treated as it can affect your performance in a variety of areas including work, sport or even the bedroom. Episiotomy scars, perineal tears, overly tight stitching and c-section scars can all leave a woman uncomfortable and not comfortable being intimate. Typically these sort of scars (vaginal/perineal) are treated in a specialised hospital pelvic floor treatment unit as opposed to an outpatient/sports clinic. C-section or other abdominal scars are routinely treated in an outpatient clinic.  Sportsmen may find that a scar hampers their mobility, strength and co-ordination. It is difficult to perform to your true potential when you feel restricted or if you are waiting for a stab of pain to kick in.

Treatments can be active or passive.  These include a number of the procedures commonly used in physio/physical therapy practice such as soft tissue mobilizations(manual or instrument assisted), ultrasound, acupuncture and exercises.  Additionally  silicone gel sheets/silicone ointments and mildly stretchy K-tape may be used to add additional heat/stretch or humidity to the scar for longer periods of time.

hand scar acu


A great amount of treatment can be carried out by patients on their own but often it takes an independent person to see all the problems that aren’t immediately evident. Unsurprisingly people often avoid putting pressure on a scar and don’t notice just how sensitive the tissues in the area are.

If you have concerns about a scar then consider speaking to your family medical doctor or your physical therapist regarding having the scar assessed. There is no reason why you should have to suffer without some help/advice considering the amount of knowledge that is available these days.


What can an Assessment do for you?

People aren’t always sure of what a physiotherapist does or whether they have a complaint that might be helped by a physiotherapist. Personally I treat mainly musculoskeletal problems (sports/spinal/arthritis…) but physio’s are involved in a number of areas. When someone comes in with a problem that I feel would be treated by a physiotherapist with a different speciality I send them to the appropriate person (Pat in our office has a focus on Occupational Health as one sub-speciality). Specialities include neurological conditions, women’s health, occupational health and a number of other areas.  When we do an assessment we try to focus in on what a person’s problems might be and whether one of our physio’s can help or not.  The assessment can clarify if there is a serious problem or if a person might be able to just get on with things themselves using just some information for guidance.

If you would like to have something looked at or discuss a particular problem I am offering a free 15 minute assessment for anyone able to come to my office. If you are interested please follow this link to book your free assessment.

Looking forward to seeing you and hopefully giving you a hand!