Are there treatment options available for painful scar tissue? Absolutely. In this post, Dr. Rodriguez, a Dallas pain management doctor, will provide a brief explanation of Astym Therapy, how it works, and how it can improve the lives of patients with painful scar tissue.
What are the Treatment Options for Painful Scar Tissue?
There are a number of different treatments for painful scar tissue. However, many of these options are expensive and have limited success.
Astym Therapy is a new treatment for painful scar tissue that works by utilizing the body’s own regeneration properties. Many patients report significant improvements in mobility and pain relief after Astym Therapy.
How Does Painful Scar Tissue Occur?
Painful scar tissue can develop after injury or surgery. Aside from causing pain and discomfort, this scar tissue can also limit patient movement.
Many people have scars. For most, scars are nothing more than a reminder of a past injury.
But sometimes scar tissue can swell, become painful, and severely restrict movement. This isn’t as common with scars that form on the outer layer of skin; this is more likely to occur with scar tissue that forms in the soft tissues deep inside the body. This means that scars on ligaments, muscles, and tendons are more likely to swell and become painful.
These scars can form after surgery, or after intense injuries. Sometimes they can even form after intensive muscle use during sports.
Scarring is a normal bodily process. When you cut yourself chopping up onions, a small scar will develop. The scar tissue is stiffer and tougher than your regular tissue; it protects the affected area while it heals. While your more delicate nerves and blood vessels knit back together, the scar tissue acts as a protective shield.
Some scars don’t heal so easily. Scar tissue may continue to grow even after the wound heals. This leads patients to seek treatment for painful scar tissue.
What is the Treatment for Painful Scar Tissue?
There are several common methods of treatment for painful scar tissue.
Some of the more popular treatments are corticosteroid injections, cryotherapy, heat therapy, stretching, and neuromuscular stimulation.
There are cases in which these methods are highly effective. But there are also plenty of cases where these methods aren’t successful long-term or aren’t successful at all. When other methods don’t work, surgeons may want to try more invasive methods, like surgically removing the scar tissue.
There is also a more aggressive method called Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue mobilization. This treatment for painful scar tissue uses sharp instruments to scrape across the affected area. In some cases, this manually breaks down the scar tissue.
What is Astym Therapy?
Astym therapy is a new treatment for painful scar tissue. It uses the body’s natural ability to regenerate soft tissues and eliminate scar tissue.
How does that work? Well, there are cells in your body called fibroblasts. These cells can remodel the affected area of your body. Fibroblasts can dissolve the original scar and replace it with higher-quality tissue.
The Astym Therapy Procedure
In Astym therapy, Dr. Rodriguez will use a device topically to stimulate your natural fibroblasts. This is similar to Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), but is less aggressive. There is no scraping in Astym Therapy.
The instruments Dr. Rodriguez uses for Astym therapy are completely FDA-approved.
This treatment also includes a customized stretching and strengthening physical therapy program. The stretching and strengthening allows the body to heal naturally, and ensures the newly-formed fibers are strong and align properly. Dr. Rodriguez and his team will work with you to create a routine that works for you.
Many patients with persistent injuries in the hip, thigh, knee, and ankle reported significant improvement after Astym therapy. For many, this meant pain-free walking for the first time in years.
Patients with shoulder injuries also reported significant improvements. This includes patients who had undergone surgical treatment for breast cancer. In particular, these patients noted a decrease in scar hypersensitivity.
Astym vs. IASTM
We talked briefly about the difference between Astym and IASTM. Let’s talk more in-depth about what separates the two treatments.
IASTM is a method where clinicians use scraping tools to manually break down scar tissue. While Astym therapy also uses topical instruments on the skin, there is no aggressive scraping involved.
Astym and IASTM are very different in their goals, application, and results.
The method and delivery of IASTM can vary widely depending on your provider. IASTM may work for one patient, once, with a particular provider. But it does not work for everyone, and not every provider utilizes IASTM the same. IASTM can be unreliable and even unsafe.
Is Astym Therapy Painful?
Astym therapy should not be intolerably painful. Make sure to be honest with Dr. Rodriguez during your Astym therapy sessions. The designers of the Astym therapy instruments engineered them to cause as little discomfort as possible while still being effective.
You will always get the best results when you are honest with Dr. Rodriguez, or any clinician, about your experience.
Does Astym Therapy Work Quickly?
Astym therapy does work fairly quickly.
A typical course of treatment includes two sessions per week for four to six weeks. That’s a total of 8-12 sessions over the course of a month.
Between sessions, Dr. Rodriguez would encourage his patients to engage in normal activity. This helps the newly-forming tissues remain strong and properly aligned.
This makes Astym therapy unique as a treatment for painful scar tissue. Other techniques don’t last as long or aren’t effective as quickly.
Painful Scar Tissue Relief in Dallas
If you or a loved one are seeking treatment for painful scar tissue, call the Pain Relief Center in Plano, Texas at 214.709.1904.
Dr. Rodriguez is a licensed anesthesiologist practicing in the Dallas area. He and his team are dedicated to the eradication of pain. They will work with you to create a treatment plan that works for your lifestyle.