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Four Steps to a Healthy C-section Scar

Updated: Jan 13, 2022

Some women go a lifetime without even acknowledging their C-section scar after D day. Once it heals up, it no longer bothers them and they go on with motherhood. Other times, women may have sensitivity around the scar for years after delivery and simply don’t know what to do about it.


No matter which camp you fall into, I wanted to talk a little about why we need to give that scar the attention that it deserves postpartum.

Scroll down for video guidance!

If you had your baby/babies through Cesarean Section, you underwent a

MAJOR surgical procedure. Thank goodness for modern medicine and its capability to get baby out in whatever way is safest for both parties, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was an intensive surgery.


If any other major surgery, like a knee or shoulder surgery, gets specific post-operative rehabilitation by skilled physical therapists, why shouldn’t a C-section??

Let's review some details of the surgical process of a C-section:


Before assisting this fresh tiny human out of your womb, your MD has to get through the skin, subcutaneous tissues, fascia over the rectus abdominis, two layers of the anterior abdominal fascia, aponeurosis from the external oblique rectus, and more aponeuroses of the transverse abdominis and internal oblique muscles.


Lots of big words, but in summary, nerves, skin, connecting material, and muscle are all cut through. Here is the good news! The body can create scar tissue and bind this incision back together with amazing skill. Once that beautiful scar has been formed, that is where the rehabilitation process begins!


Normally, after 4-6 weeks post-delivery, that scar will be fully closed despite being tender to the touch. Once the tissue healing has occured, its time to start working on that scar!

Tissue healing occurs much faster than nerve regeneration, as the average nerve only grows 1-2 mm/day. Numbness over and around the scar post-delivery is just your body slowly working on that growth process. In the video, I will demonstrate how to start “waking up your nervous system” and begin to “desensitize” the area around the scar, which helps cue your body to regrow its sensory system more efficiently.


After waking up the nervous system and finally having less discomfort to the touch, mobilizing the scar tissue becomes important. Gently begin moving your scar around, starting to break up the tense tissue (scar tissue build-up).


Without mobilizing the tissue around the scar, skin and fascia remain tense, limiting full abdominal muscle activation and over all skin mobility surrounding the scar. Getting this scar moving is so important for getting back to having a healthy core!


Whether you begin this process the second the scar heals or a year later, it is never too late to break up some scar tissue. Try out the steps below and watch the video for a more thorough explanation!


Finally, sign up on Naptimept.com for a free video consultation to chat about your personalized postpartum recovery! I look forward to working with you!


Happy mobilizing!


 

Four steps to a Healthy C-Section Scar:


Once tissue healing has occurred, it’s time to begin these 4 steps! As soon as the first step can be done without pain, move on to the next step etc.


1. Light touch circles around the scar (Desensitization)

2. Deep circles around the scar (Mobilization)

3. Cross-Friction over the scar (Mobilization)

4. Anterior Chain Stretching with a small pull around the scar, all directions.

(Functional Mobilization)


Check out the video for step by step guidance!!



Kiri Krishingner, PT, DPT


Sources:

Grinsell, D., & Keating, C. (2014, September 03). Peripheral Nerve Reconstruction after Injury: A Review of Clinical and Experimental Therapies. Retrieved December 11, 2020, from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/698256/

Sung S, Mahdy H. Cesarean Section. [Updated 2020 Aug 23]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546707/


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