resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
March, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 03
Massage for Surgical Adhesions and Scar Tissue: A Case Study
By Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT
Weekly, I receive inquiries from massage therapists and potential clients asking for help with the pain they are experiencing from surgical scar tissue and adhesions. Scar tissue and adhesions can be effectively released. The following case study is one such example.
Sarah, a 63-year-old, was a disabled office worker. Her problems started 20 years ago when she donated a kidney for her daughter. The surgical incision was halfway around her body. Six months after the removal of the kidney, Sara had an additional surgery for the removal of surgical adhesions that had resulted from the initial surgery, and four months later had another surgery for surgical adhesions. The adhesions produced significant pain, preventing her from returning to work.
By the time she was referred to me, she had undergone a total of seven surgeries for adhesions over a 20-year period and was still unable to work. Her overall vitality and health reflected the 20 years of medication and pain, and she appeared older than her 63 years. Upon evaluation, she was severely bent over to her right side in an acute collapse of the core distortion pattern and could not rotate her upper body to the right. She was not able to fully straighten up due to the restrictions deep in her abdomen from the surgical adhesions. When I palpated the surgical adhesions and scar tissue, I found them to be fibrous, thick and hypersensitive from the surface tissues in the rectus abdominus, obliques, and latissimus dorsi all the way through the soft muscle of the intestines, and into the psoas and quadratus lumborum of the deep intrinsic stabilizing muscles. In addition, she had significant pain in the lower lumbar region of the spine, hip, neck and shoulders as a result of the structural collapse. She was also depressed due to the fact that she had not been able to work or take part in activities that she enjoyed.
The goals for the initial treatment sessions were to lessen the sensation in and around the surgical adhesions and scar tissue, release the buildup of fluid and toxins associated with the pain and inflammation, clear trigger points and soften surface layers of scar tissue to prepare the areas for deeper treatments as therapy progressed.
The strokes were applied in specific sequences and directions that would facilitate the release of the structural distortion to initiate the structural balancing. These initial strokes were lighter, milking strokes which were applied very slowly to allow more change in the tissue with less threat and less sensation for a client who is in severe pain.
In the next phase of treatment, one of the goals was to unwind the myofascial holding patterns of the structural collapse, not only in the adhesions of the scar tissue, but also in the restrictions throughout the rest of her structure that had been pulling her structure further into collapse. This would help reduce the pain in her hip and lower back from the structural collapse. We were also working to release some of the hardened fibrous adhesions and their compression on nerve tissue which was one of the significant causes of her pain. Another goal was to increase her range of motion as the fascia and scar tissue restrictions were released and mobilized.
After seven sessions, Sara was standing straighter with a significant reduction of the structural collapse. She was more mobile and was able to participate more freely in her daily life activities. Her energy was better, and her spirits were high because she was finally feeling and seeing the improvement: she was able be more active, having more fun, and feeling more satisfaction in her accomplishments. The pain was reduced both from the release of the direct pressure of the surgical adhesions on nerves, and from the release of the structural collapse causing the low back pain. She was experiencing less pain in her neck and shoulders due to the fact that she was no longer bent over, and her neck and shoulders were now more supported by a straighter spine.
The goals here were going to be specific release of the fibrous tension of the surgical adhesions, release of the shortened fibers and adhesions in the psoas and quadratus lumborum (to release nerve entrapment and allow structural balance), release other fibers in the pelvis that supported the structural collapse, and increase range of motion back to normal function. After seven more sessions that incorporated the deep individual fiber release to sufficiently lengthen and balance Sara's structure, take the pressure off the nerve entrapments and return range of motion to normal, we were able to accomplish the long-term goal of pain free living.
It was by setting goals, using them as observable and obtainable measurements allowing us to track improvements, that we were able to achieve successful resolution of Sara's long-time chronic condition.
The three-step approach of first releasing ischemia, fluids and toxins, then applying directed myofascial unwinding strokes, and finally releasing individual fibers allowed me to work with Sara staying within her pain thresholds even during the most intense phase of her rehabilitation. Using this three-step approach, the deepest of the surgical adhesions were able to be released, which ultimately released her structure into balance. Sara has gone back to work, and is finally happily participating in activities that had given her such enjoyment before the kidney donation.
As always, please be careful to work within your skill level and expertise, and refer out if necessary.
Click here for more information about Don McCann, MA, LMT, LMHC, CSETT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.