"You have to continually massage the scar tissue." I heard it over and over again, from the surgeon, the occupational therapist (OT) and the physiotherapist (PT).
The body produces extra collagen and deposits it to promote healing and strengthen the tissue after surgery or injury. It's important to regularly massage it in order to soften the scar tissue tissue. When scar tissue builds up, it can restrict movement and reduce function.
Now I know why my mom's cesarean scar looked the way it did. I remember being perplexed and somewhat fascinated by how it looked like a rough, tightly knotted cord. In those days, they were quite liberal with the knife, so her scar ran from her pubic bone to just below her solar plexus. (All 3 of us were not easy deliveries!) She never mentioned it, but it must have been uncomfortable whenever she stretched.
If I don't regularly massage the raised ribbon of tissue that runs along the incision site, I can feel tightness whenever I open my hand. However, massaging it can be a challenge, especially if you have weak and/or sore hands. I have trouble applying enough pressure to soften the scar tissue, so I've found ways to work around that.
I regularly use a roller ball, along with some of my other massage tools, but when these gadgets aren't at hand, there are other sneaky ways to massage my scar.
I rub my palm:
- Over a doorknob.
- Along the edge of a mug.
- On the steering wheel when I'm stopped at a red light.
- Along the edge of a table or desk.
- Over Holly's hard head! She especially likes the pressure on her ears!