They Are Not Forever!

Mary Loveless
Mar – Apr 2024 • Vol 4, No 9

They may have been acquired by accident or a surgical procedure… Scars can be small or large and can cause problems. Some scars are barely noticeable, but others are thick, ropy and gnarly (keloid), with burn victims especially. These scars can also adhere to bone and organs. Some feel like a spider web or roots that travel in many directions. Scar tissue is repair tissue. It doesn’t have the ability of normal tissue to stretch well. It reminds me of duct tape. It does the job—but it’s still a repair job.


Common complaints from surgery-related scars and scar tissue include:

  • Thyroid/tracheotomy/neck surgery: Difficulty swallowing, breathing, neck pain, loss of cervical range of motion
  • Open heart surgery: Diaphragm restricted, difficulty breathing, chest pain, thoracic/back pain, limited shoulder range of motion
  • Gallbladder, hernia, C-section, lap band, hysterectomy, appendectomy surgery: Abdominal pain/discomfort, back pain, bladder/bowel issues
  • Mastectomy/breast enhancement/breast reduction/lumpectomy surgery: Difficulty breathing, rib pain, back pain, frozen shoulder, neck pain
  • Knee surgery: Hip pain, difficulty squatting, back pain, patella pain, lower extremity swelling, valgus/varus
  • Episiotomy surgery: Painful intercourse, bowel/bladder issues, headaches, hip pain
  • Vasectomy surgery: Painful erections, testicular pain, bowel/bladder issues, elusive abdominal pain or back pain


Cuts, scrapes, burns or falls are never planned, but happen when you least expect them. Some injuries get stitches or are allowed to heal on their own. Others may require a skin graft that may cover a small or large area. Once again, scar tissue is laid down during the healing process, resulting in these common complaints:

  • Cuts or scrapes to the hands and feet (digits), or knees and elbows: Decreased flexibility and range of motion in either flexing or extending, or both
  • Burns to the arms, hands, face, chest or lap: Restricted movement of the skin or joints. The skin is our most heightened sensory organ. Burns and scarring are usually both painful and debilitating

Scar tissue can behave like a tourniquet; it can compress nerves and blood vessels. It can restrict range of motion and limit muscle function. There is hope though—it can be stretched and released. Through MFR, the compression forces of the scar tissue can be changed!

To find the nearest Myofascial Release Therapist, search Mary Loveless, PTA, LMT, is an MFR Expert, Assist. Instructor, and a Montana Study Group Facilitator.