The aim of scar management is not to treat the scar but to PREVENT the scarring. It is essential to both reduce the pressure to the tissues as they are healing in order to prevent too much scar tissue and reduce the risk of it “sticking down”; and to move structures that are safe to move. This helps to ensure there is ‘glide’ of the tissues against each other and helps prevent everything sticking down together.
Scarring can cause problems such as sensitivity, numbness, colour changes and loss of movement. With any injury, the body goes through stages of repair. Collagen is the connective tissue that your body produces during this repair, which we refer to as scar tissue. When collagen is initially laid down it is not done uniformly and is not strong. Usually after 21 days the scar starts to increase strength. This is due to the changes in how the collagen is being formed and laid down. As the scar heals it also contracts in, meaning it becomes tighter and closer together. With healing after an injury, scar tissue can involve bone, ligaments, joint capsule, tendons, muscle and skin. Scar tissue forming is similar to if we upended glue into the area and it was left to set. If left still, all of these layers can stick together, which in the long term may mean a joint can’t move, tendons can’t glide, ligaments, muscles or skin can’t glide or stretch. So, this can significantly impact range of movement.