Kelly Starrett’s book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, is a guide to sort of become your own “coach, doctor, chiropractor, physical therapist, or masseur” all-in-one and improve your flexibility, fitness, and overall health. The cover’s barely been cracked and it’s a fascinating read. We’re pretty excited to put the ideas into use.
Presently my focus is scar tissue mobilization (not so much a focus of the aforementioned book but along the same lines of self-rehab). Sounds yummy, right? Well, when you have a scar across your abdomen that feels like a clump of spaghetti stuck beneath the skin, that’s not so yummy. So since I’m eight weeks out from cesarean section surgery, I’ve slowly been working on my scar.
Scars leave a much more expansive mark than they appear, even if a whopping seven inches long. Because of how they are damaged and how they heal, the sliced tissues can cause pain and tightness in surrounding muscles or joints long after they’ve healed. However, the less elastic and more fibrous scar tissue can be made to feel pretty close to the original weave. This is done through fairly simple massage techniques: moving skin side-to-side, picking up the scar, pressing deeper to get into the subcutaneous layers of flesh, etc.. Basically the more the scar and the layers beneath it are massaged and manipulated the better and the more likely you are not to have pain elsewhere.
As a runner I don’t want my scar to hinder performance, but more importantly as a mother I don’t want pain and tightness to cramp our style months and years down the road.
For those of you with a scar of some kind, I hope you’re inspired to do some scar tissue work. From what I understand, you can always work a scar even if it’s from years ago, just don’t expect results as quickly. Happy and healthy healing…