C –section scar release massage
Much of the recovery process after a c-section birth feels out of your control. Really, other than “taking it easy,” patients are given little information on how they can help avoid painful issues down the road. However, despite getting very little press from midwives doctors or other resources, there is one simple activity that can aid in both your recovery and long term prognosis — massaging your surgical scar.
When Should You Begin Massaging Your C-Section Scar?
Once you get the okay from your doctor that your scar is well healed, usually at your six-week check up, you will want to begin massaging your surgical scar. If you are having pain before then, you can do gentle massaging around the scar area while it is healing, but not on top of the scar tissue. Loosening up the surrounding tissues can help ease your pain. After you have clearance, however, don’t delay working directly on the scar to gain maximum benefits! Also note, whether it has been months or even years since your c-section, it isn’t too late to achieve improvements.
Why Should You Massage Your C-Section (surgical) Scar?
When scar tissue forms it lays its fibres down very haphazardly in all different directions. It also may adhere to tissues you don’t want it to, mainly the fascia and organs. The fascia is a band of connective tissues covering or binding together parts of the body, such as muscles or organs. In the abdomen it can cause adhesions. Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that bind together body parts that are normally unconnected. Any tissue it comes into contact with may stick to it. With c-sections it’s very common to have an adhesion on your colon, ovary or between your bladder and uterus. Think of these fibres as a tangled mess of yarn that has bounced around your room, wrapped around everything but where it should be! Scar tissue needs to be shown how to lie down properly.
What Happens If I Don’t Massage My Scar?
Many women were never told to massage their surgical incision. “Healing” instructions are often limited to the outer appearance — to avoid redness, watch for signs of infection, etc. Years down the road these same women may endure womens health concerns. Without having a more in-depth physical examination, they may not even associate it with their previous c-section.
The most common issue is lower back and pelvic pain. The scar tissue adheres to all the tissues directly in front of the sacrum. The sacrum is the triangular bone located at the base of your spine that joins to a hip bone on each side and forms part of the pelvis. The sacrum needs to be able to bend forward and backwards with all of our movements.
There is fascia that runs from the pubic bone around the bladder, uterus and colon and attaches back to the sacrum. There is also an uterosacral ligament, (another major ligament of the uterus), that can get tight from scar tissue that inhibits the sacrum from moving as freely as it needs to when we bend, twist and walk. This restricted tissue mobility causes limited sacral mobility and is what leads to low back pain. In layman’s terms: Ouch!
C-section scarring can cause frequency of urination. Unbelievably, this symptom can delay until 10 to 15 years after your surgery! You will find yourself feeling like you have to pee every 15-20 minutes, even though you just urinated. Relatively young women may be horrified at this loss of bladder control and stressed by their need to either stay within a fast dash or start reaching for Tena lady garments which are completely avoiding the issue.
So what’s happening? The scar tissue from your surgical incision in the lower abdomen is inhibiting the bladder from expanding fully. Once the bladder tries to expand and it hits the scar tissue it sends a signal up to the brain telling it you need to empty your bladder. The more scar tissue you have, the less the bladder can expand, and the more you will have to go, go, go!
Don’t give up hope. This isn’t like that extensive exercise routine that you can’t seem to become motivated to do. A few minutes of effort on your part of good scar tissue release work will have you back to urinating normally, which is every two to three hours.
For guided tuition on massaging your c-section scar as well as breathing and postural assessment and abdominal diastasis check contact Linda our Midwife on 07920192881 or book directly on our website using the following link