Did you know that physical scars on your body can be one of the culprits of chronic pain and even disease?
Scars are produced on the body after surgical interventions. When the skin is cut to perform surgery, a scar is formed after the skin is approximated and healed. Scars are also formed when tissues are injured. A stretch is produced on the skin after the formation of scar on the body.
Scars are one of the primary causes of chronic pain. Damage to a small skin nerve is the cause of scar tissue pain or when a nerve is entrapped in a scar tissue chronic pain can be produced. Sometimes, neuroma is even formed where the skin nerve is damaged. Alterations in skin feeling can last a lifetime after a scar is healed. Scars also send miscommunications to the Autonomic Nervous System sounding “busy or chaotic”. Adhesions develop under the scar and can attach to structures they should not be attached too and can pull and distort muscles and organ systems. Scars cause pulls in the fascial system forming strait jackets within the body systems. Scars can also trap emotions and disconnect the electrical systems! Some of the scars that seem to have the most severe impacts on the body are:
- Inguinal hernia repair
- Gallbladder surgery
- Back surgery
- Neck surgery
- Heart operation
- Breast amputation
Patients with scars characteristically have complaints of continuous neuropathic pain. This pain can be located anywhere on the body, NOT just the scar site. This pain commonly starts after some months of pain free interval postoperatively.
Pathology of Chronic Pain in Physical Scars
Stress production on the autonomic nervous system and production of interference patterns of electric membrane instability after the formation of physical scars postoperatively produce chronic pain.
Depending upon the cause of the chronic pain in physical scars, treatment modalities are selected. Treatment possibilities are:
- Psychological therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- MPS scar release therapy
- Local infiltration of the scar
- Aroori S, Spence R. Chronic pain after hernia surgery – An informed consent issue. Ulster Med J 2007;76(3):136-40.