Wednesday, August 10, 2022

How To Massage Scar Tissue After Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Don't Miss

Traditional Treatments For Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

Steroids or anti-inflammatory medications are a traditional treatment for CTS. The help provided by these medicines only lasts for as long as you take the pills. You may have to deal with their side effects too. A doctor may also splint your wrist to limit movement. The splinting helps you to avoid hurting your wrist while sleeping, but it can actually make things worse during the day and increase swelling.

Wrist Flexion & Stretch

After having carpal tunnel release surgery, you can experience a build-up of scar tissue that can affect the way your hands and wrists function. This exercise can help to break up the scar tissue and open up the tunnel in your wrist.

  • Extend your arm out in front of your, with your wrist flexed at a 90-degree angle.
  • Using your other hand, gently pull your wrist back by your fingers.
  • Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds, repeating 5 times.

Graston Technique Muscle And Scar Tissue Treatment

The Graston Technique is an advanced instrument assisted soft tissue treatment for muscle and scar tissue that restrict movement and cause pain. From a simple pulled muscle to an open wound, the body forms scar tissue to repair damaged tissues. Scar tissues do not function or have the same flexibility of normal muscle tissue. Fibrotic scar tissues accumulate over time and can cause stiffness, pain, and decrease physical performance.

Originally developed by athletes, the Graston Technique is used by more than 18,000 clinicians worldwide. It is used by some 1,960 outpatient facilities, over 50 industrial sites, and by more than 280 professional and amateur sports organizations.

You May Like: Does Ginger Ale Help Stomach Pain

Manual Therapy: Scar Tissue Massage

  • Posted on

Surgery, fractures, sprains, and even cuts can lead to injured tissues that cause scar tissue. While this is part of the normal healing process, it can become an issue if the scar develops improperly and is left untreated. Many people are unaware of the problems associated with scar tissue and are led to believe they will have to live with the lumpy, unattractive scar for the rest of their lives. This is where physical therapy can help! At New Heights Therapy, were dedicated to providing our patients with helpful information and compassionate service that will aid the healing of scar tissue.

How To Treat A Scar

How to perform Scar Tissue Massage

If you have a scar that is causing pain or is limiting the use of your hand or arm, a hand therapist can help using the following treatments:

  • Scar massage: Normal skin can be lifted and moved in all directions. Massaging the scar helps the scar move the same way as the normal surrounding skin. Using lotion helps as you massage your scar in circles, side to side, and up and down . This stretches the skin in all directions to reduce the tightness of the skin while it is healing. This also helps to decrease sensitivity of the skin and provides necessary moisture for healing.
  • Scar pads and tape: Silicone pads offer compression and help to soften the skin resulting in a flat and less noticeable scar. A silicone pad is applied like a sticker to the skin. Your hand therapist can discuss wear . If your scar is irregularly shaped and/or deep, a silicone-based elastomer can be molded to your scar. Either silicone or elastomer scar pads can be held in place with a loose dressing. Tape such as Kinesio® tape or RockTape® can also be used to help alter the scar and improve gliding of the tissue.
  • Desensitization: When the scar is hypersensitive it is important to introduce different textures to the skin to decrease sensitivity. Start with something soft you can tolerate like a pillow case. Rub the hypersensitive area for one to two minutes at a time. Work up to more abrasive textures like a washcloth several times per day.

Recommended Reading: Knee Pain Diagnosis Diagram

Where Is Carpal Tunnel Located And How It Is Formed

Carpal Tunnel is an osseofibrous tunnel formed posteriorly by the concave palmar surface of the carpals and bounded anteriorly by the flexor retinaculum.

  • The flexor retinacuum is a thick fibrous band that is attached
  • laterally to scaphoid & crest of trapezium.
  • medially to pisiform and hook of hamate.

Breakdown Of Scar Tissue

The breakdown of scar tissue is a common benefit gained through massage. Scar tissue is made up of collagen fibres. Collagen fibres are fibrous connective tissues that have many functions within the body. The main function of collagen fibres within scar tissue is for the repair of damaged fibres within the body. Scar tissue can become very restrictive as the elasticity of the tissues is smaller than the body’s natural muscular tissues. Our massage therapists at use break down scar tissue through massage to help decrease pain, increase range of movement and relieve restriction.

Also Check: How To Fake A Broken Wrist

Using Physical Therapy To Promote Healthy Tissue

Before undergoing treatment, it is necessary to consult with your both your doctor and your physical therapist before proceeding with any treatment. In cases where scars are not fully healed, massage could delay healing or even open and expose the scar to bacteria or infection. If you have scar tissue that has fully healed, a physical therapist may perform scar tissue massage to help with the remodeling process. Massage promotes the gentle stretching of the scar tissue, helping align the collagen fibers

Instructions For After Surgery

Relieving Scar Tissue & Limited Range of Motion after Surgery

Elevation of the hand is very important after any surgery or injury to the hand. The hand should be kept at a level that is higher than your heart in order to cause fluid to drain from the hand. This is very important to prevent swelling. A swollen hand will be painful, and a swollen hand will also become stiff. It is important to make a full fist and fully straighten your fingers ten times an hour after any hand surgery or injury that does not involve a tendon repair. This motion will pump the fluid out of the fingers and thereby prevent swelling.

Do not change the bandages or splint after surgery until the first post operative visit with Dr. Miller. The bandages must also be kept dry. Showering should be done with a large plastic bag over the hand and arm, securely taped just below the shoulder. By keeping the hand fully elevated, it is possible to take a brief shower without getting the bandages wet.

After an operation that has been done under a local anesthetic, or local anesthetic with sedation, it is common to experience numbness and tingling in the hand for eight to ten hours or longer. A prescription for a pain reliever will be given to you after the surgery and we recommend that you fill the prescription, although frequently only one or two pills will be necessary. The most important aspect of pain relief after hand surgery is strict elevation of the hand.

You May Like: Fake Broken Arm

What Is Scar Tissue

Scar tissue. Adhesion. Fibrosis. The words are different, but the concepts are the same. This dense, fibrous tissue affects us all and is an underlying factor in many injuries. Scar tissue binds up and ties down tissues that need to move freely. As scar tissue builds up, muscles become Shorter and Weaker. Tension on tendons causes tendinosis. Nerves can become trapped. All these problems can cause reduced range of motion, loss of strength, and pain as well as tingling, numbness, and weakness.

Scar tissue forms two different ways. First, if a muscle, tendon, or ligament is torn or crushed, the body creates scar tissue to Glue the torn pieces together. This is a necessary part of the healing process.

The second, more common way for scar tissue to form is by soft tissue in the body not receiving enough oxygen . Hypoxia is more common than one may think. Poor posture, athletic pursuits, repeated use, and sustained pressure all increase muscle tension and result in hypoxic conditions. When muscle tension is increased, blood supply to the area is reduced. A healthy blood flow is so important because blood carries oxygen to muscles. A reduced blood flow means less oxygen and that means hypoxia.

Hypoxia leads to free radical accumulation in muscles. Unfortunately, Free Radicals attract cells that produce scar tissue. These cells begin lying down scar tissue and over time, scar tissue begins affecting surrounding muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, and nerves.

How Is It Diagnosed

Physical therapists work together with other health care providers to accurately diagnose and treat CTS. Symptoms of CTS are typical. It is often possible to diagnose it without extensive testing. Your physical therapist will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine all the factors that may be contributing to your condition.

They will begin by asking you questions to gather information about your health history and condition. The interview will become more specific to the symptoms of CTS. They may be helped by forms you fill out before your first session. Your physical therapist may ask you:

  • Did you experience an injury to the area?
  • If so, how did your injury occur?
  • Do you perform repeated tasks for your work, or for sport?
  • How have you taken care of the condition, such as seeing other health care providers? Have you had imaging or other tests, and received their results?
  • What are your current symptoms, and how have they changed your activities?
  • Do you have pain. If so, where and how intense is your pain? Does pain vary during the day?
  • Do you have trouble doing any activities? What activities are you unable to do?

This information lets the physical therapist better understand what you are experiencing and helps to determine the course of your physical exam.

Several tests may be used to help diagnose or rule out CTS, including:

In some cases, your physical therapist may refer you to a doctor or other health care provider for additional testing or treatment.

You May Like: Stomach Cramps Pregnancy Symptoms

Carpal Tunnel Release Post

  • You should not experience much pain after your procedure. If you experience pain, please take over-the-counter Tylenol Extra Strength or Advil for pain relief.

  • Keep the dressing clean, dry and intact for 2 days after your surgery. You can remove the dressing and Tensors after 48 hrs. Please wash the wound with soap and water. Expose your incision to air to allow it to dry.

  • Please note that swelling in the fingers is normal post-operatively due to the Tensors. If the Tensors are too constrictive, please remove them and leave gauze in place for 2 days.

  • Your follow-up appointment should be 10-14 days after your procedure to assess the incision and remove the sutures.

  • Please note that a little bit of swelling over the incision is normal. However, please watch out for signs of infection, such as redness that spreads beyond your incisions, the breaking open of your skin and/or pus that drains from your incision. If you have any of these signs, please call the surgical clinic or our office to book an appointment to see Dr. Chivers as soon as possible.

Recovery course:

If you have any questions or non-emergent concerns, please call our office at 244-8377, Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, or email us at .

Things To Maintain Before A Crossfriction Massage

Carpal Tunnel &  Trapped Nerves  Harley Plastic Surgery

Massages look easy, but they are not. You need to maintain certain criteria to get an effective Cross Friction Massage session. Lets know those.

  • You must find out the exact location of the scar tissue. Massage in the wrong place wont work.
  • The fingertips and patients skin must move together. If not, the result might be the opposite of the expected result.
  • The massage must be performed across the scar tissue areas.
  • The pressure should go deep enough to heal the scar. But dont go deep first. Before going to deep, start with soft pressure. Increase the pressure gradually.

You May Like: Does Lidocaine Work For Nerve Pain

Scar Tissue Massage Techniques

When you start physical therapy for scar tissue management, there are several procedures your therapist will perform to help heal scar tissue:

  • Lubrication. A small amount of baby oil, lotion, or vitamin E oil may be used to keep the scar and surrounding skin pliable during massage.
  • Cross friction massage. This involves using one of two fingers to massage the scar in a direction perpendicular to the line of the scar. Performed for 510 minutes, this technique ensures proper alignment of collagen fibers.
  • Myofascial release. In this technique, the hands are used to slowly and lightly massage the skin and underlying tissues around the scar. Your physical therapist can feel for restrictions of tissue, also known as fascia, and work to improve movement in those areas.
  • Instrument assisted massage. A relatively new technique, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization involves using specialty stainless steel instruments of various sizes to massage and mobilize tissues, helping break up the built-up collagen cells.

Along with these massage techniques, stretching and flexibility exercises may also be implemented to help elongate and improve the mobility of injured tissues.

Physical Therapy Equals Surgery For Carpal Tunnel

Conservative approach should be the first option, researcher says

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 24, 2017 Surgery is a common approach to treat carpal tunnel syndrome. But, physical therapy may work just as well, a new study indicates.

Researchers found that physical therapy particularly so-called manual therapy improved hand and wrist function and reduced pain as effectively as a standard operation for the condition.

Moreover, after one month, physical therapy patients reported better results than those who underwent surgery.

We believe that physical therapy should be the first therapeutic option for almost all patients with this condition, said lead study author Cesar Fernandez de las Penas.

If conservative treatment fails, then surgery would be the next option, said de las Penas, a professor of physical therapy at King Juan Carlos University in Alcorcon, Spain.

Also, one extra benefit of therapy over surgery may be cost savings, he noted.

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the palm of the hand, becomes squeezed at the wrist. It often arises from repetitive motions required for work, such as computer use or assembly line work.

Symptoms usually start gradually, with patients noticing numbness and weakness in the hand and wrist.

Surgery for the condition generally involves cutting a ligament around the wrist to reduce pressure on the median nerve, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Also Check: How Do You Tell If Your Wrist Is Broken

How To Massage Scars To Help Heal Them

Scar tissue occurs when collagen fibers form over an injury during the healing process. Sometimes these fibers grow in all directions, causing scars to appear darker and more pronounced, according to Massage Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. Massage therapy is just one alternative to more complex procedures to reduce scar appearance and formation. By increasing blood circulation, massage therapists say massage speeds the healing process and prevents the scar from re-opening by remaining pliable.

Rub the scar in a circular motion to help promote fluid drainage. **This is known as lymph drainage technique and is used to minimize swelling of scar tissue 7. Through this form of scar massage, your lymph nodes are prompted to drain excess fluid that commonly surrounds scar tissue during the healing process.

Stretch the surrounding skin outward — gently rub the scar with your thumbs using a circular motion. This helps keep your scar flexible and prevents it from restricting your movement, especially if the scar is located on or near a joint.

Apply pressure to your scar with your finger or thumb and rub in one direction. You might also use the palm of your hand for larger scars. This breaks up excess collagen and adhesions, according to website Body of Health.


Voltaren Gel For Use In Treatment Of Scar Tissue

26 Dec 2013 by Theresa Rongholt
voltaren gel, scar tissue, treatment, carpal tunnel syndrome

I had carpal tunnel release surgery 3rd wk in Nov. 2013. I wanted to know if I can use the Voltaren gel at the surgery site to help relieve discomfort and break down scar tissue under the skin. I was prescribed this gel to deeply massage into the scarred tissue on my other hand for the same surgery I had done 1 1/2 yrs ago.

Added 26 Dec 2013:

As far as the scar tissue goes, my concern is for the hard lump under the skin. The scar on top of the skin doesn’t bother me in the least and is hardly noticeable at all

Read Also: Is Stomach Pain A Sign Of Pregnancy

Carpal Tunnel Surgery Scar Depends On The Procedure

When patients undergocarpal tunnel release surgerythe doctor makes an incision on the palm of the hand. A “carpal tunnel surgery scar” willalwaysresult after having this operation.

But the incision can be large or small, which in turn determines thesizeof the scar. And it’s thetypeof operative procedureyou have which determines the size of the incision and the size of the resulting scar.

If everything goes right, this permanent reminder of your operation will be the only thing left of this painful or numbing condition. But if things don’t go right, any number of issues may also leave a permanent reminder.

You might also like:

It’s important to know that scarring happens bothabove and belowthe skin.Scarring below the skin can causecomplications. The worst of these are usually persistent pain and limited hand mobility .

But the majority of patients are concerned with scarring above the skin. In other words, usually thecosmetic resultis most important. They want to know what it will look like, how it will feel, and how it will change their hands appearance. These are legitimate concerns.

The answers to these questions depend on the type of surgery you have. This is discussed next.

More articles

Popular Articles