Scarring can develop after surgery, or after an injury.  It develops once a wound starts to heal.  Scar tissue is formed when the wound closes and the body lays down collagen cells.  Collagen is a core ingredient in our body tissues as it gives strength.  Scar tissue is made up of a dense randomly aligned group of collagen cells.  It has a lot of strength, but not a lot of elasticity to allow movement. Scar tissue can also stick.  It can adhere itself to tissues under the skin.  Thick and adhered scar tissue can restrict movement or an ability to function well.  For example, a scar to the back of the hand, might then affect the ability to make a fist.  What to do about this?

Sometimes people scar more than others, and have tough, hard scars. This could be from a skin graft, surgery or trauma.  Scar tissue naturally responds to a stress response.  What that means is, if we apply pressure, or a stimulation to the scar tissue, the collagen fibres start to re-organise themselves.  At Riverina Hand Therapy, we use medical grade silicone, kinesiology taping and massage to trigger a change in the structure and appearance of scars with great success. However, sometimes some scars are slow to respond.  For stubborn scar tissue, we have been using a needling approach.

Dry needling is a method of stimulating your soft tissues to improve their function. It can be used along with our many other treatments to stimulate the scar tissue to soften over the next few days, becoming more pliable and therefore producing less resistance to movement.

Very fine acupuncture needles are gently inserted, and remain in the area of scarring for a few minutes. It is normal to experience an aching sensation while the needles are being inserted and removed. It is safe and hygienic, with only sterile single use needles involved and strict attention to hygiene. Most scars that have had dry needling have been reported by the patients to be more pliable (soft and moveable) and flexible, feeling significantly less tight.  

If you have any questions about scarring, let us know.  We treat scar tissue on any body part, including legs, chests, and the face.

Written by Louise Brown