What is Scar Tissue and Adhesions?

One of the often-overlooked culprits of pain and dysfunction is Scar Tissue from surgery scars. Adhesions are scar tissues that form internally. When I had my cesarean I wasn’t told that I would possibly have back pain, decreased bowel movements, and urinary frequency in the future but low and behold that is what happened.

Scar tissue and adhesions are like the roots of a tree. Tree roots can go deep down into the layers of the earth and stretch out into all directions at great lengths. Scar tissue and adhesions can go deep into the body in many directions and create tremendous pressure on nerves, blood vessels, and organ systems.

When I started to learn about JFB myofascial release, I began going for treatments and started self-treating every day. That’s when my back stopped hurting, my bowel movements (BM) were every day, and I wasn’t going to the bathroom every hour. Did you know we’re supposed to have at least one BM every day the size of a banana and urinate every 3-4 hours?

What causes Scar Tissue and Adhesions?

Causes of scar tissue can be the result of surgery scars, previous falls, traumatic events, fractures, or simply walking into a table and bruising. Some causes of abdominal adhesions can be appendectomy, gallbladder removal, intestinal/colon removal, hysterectomy, cesarean, endometriosis, bladder lift etc…

Symptoms of Scar Tissue and Adhesions

Scar tissue symptoms can feel like tightening of the skin, itching, lack of movement, hardening, lack of sensation, redness, inflammation, and sensitive to touch.

Symptoms of abdominal adhesions are constipation, inability to pass gas, bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, back pain, and vomiting.

Treating Scar Tissue and Adhesions

Ask your doctor first if its ok to treat the area of scar tissue/adhesion, because treating scar tissue from surgery scars too soon can make the scar worse and possibly reopen the area.

I have been successfully treating patients in my practice with scar tissue and adhesions for over 10 years. Many times I teach them self-treatments that they can do at home. Some of my patients have traveled from Alabama or Louisiana to my physical therapy office in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. That’s why I now offer virtual treatments.

If you are not in my area, Google a physical therapist or massage therapist that is trained in John F. Barnes Myofascial Release in your area. The self-treatment that the therapist will teach you is gentle sustained pressure for 5 minutes or more WITHOUT pain into the scar region. At five minutes you will go into the anti-inflammatory response. Feel free to hold the pressure gently without forcing for another five minutes if your body is ok with it. Use a flat hand first, then progress to using your fingers.  You will feel the area soften and release the more you gently self-treat. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to receive a video example of the above technique.

Here’s to your healing!

With love and health,


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