Help me understand what scar tissue on my muscle is exactly? IKYANMD
October 14, 2013 6:28 PM   Subscribe

I am a runner, and soccer player. I have had 3 surgeries over the past 2 years to try to repair my right hamstring muscle from chronic tendionosis, hamstring syndrome, and I had a tenotomy. Now according to my MRI:"At around mid part there is a scar tissue formation of approximately 3 to 4 cm in the biceps femoris muscle which ís the lateral side of the hamstrings. Both above and below the scar the muscle looks perfectly normal." I currently have pain in any jogging, or specific use of my right hamstring muscle. I did rehab for 6 months post surgery in USA, but now I had to come to a small town in China, where there is no rehab. Is scar tissue capable of being my main culprit for me have pain during jogging? How easily is scar tissue removed through foam rolling, deep massage, Active Release Therapy? Is 3 to 4 cm a lot of scar tissue? How long will it take me to remove that much? (ballpark). How can I educate myself on what is going on with my body? Thanks
posted by crawltopslow to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Yes, it is likely related to your pain.

It will not be removed by massaging, although that might help quite a bit.

Nobody could definitively answer the rest of your questions. The only recommendation I could make is to take it easy on the pain medicines and anti inflammatory medicines, not that I have any reason to believe you are taking any, but it won't help much and could hurt if it's a daily basis. Rehab is your best bet, even if it is just practicing what you were last taught to perform; additional surgeries will likely only cause more scar tissue formation.
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 12:45 AM on October 15, 2013

There are a lot of claims made about the efficacy of Active Release Therapy and deep tissue massage made by chiropractors and massage therapists, but very little peer-reviewed evidence that it is effective. You can use google scholar to find what little evidence there is (which is usually in dodgy journals). In addition to "Active Release Therapy" the other buzzword they use is the "Graston Technique." My belief is that it can't make things worse and it might do something, if only by the placebo effect. Evidence with skin and heart scarring suggests that removing scar tissue is very difficult indeed.

I'm not qualified to judge the source of your pain, but I know that the muscle runs from your hip to knee, so a few cm sounds like it wouldn't be a huge deal, especially in the middle. I'd be more inclined to suspect ongoing tendon issues.
posted by Lame_username at 9:14 AM on October 15, 2013

I am not an expert by any means but my understanding is that scar tissue won't go away by any "technique" but physiotherapy may help reduce pain and increase your mobility.
posted by saradarlin at 9:53 AM on October 15, 2013

Best answer: I've had really good results using methods like Active Release Therapy, hot yoga and just rubbing it a lot to get rid of scar tissue. In fact any PT will probably tell you to just rub on it a lot. I had a giant lump of it in my leg and its mostly remodeled into a better shape now (it doesn't ever heal up to normal muscle but your body keeps reworking it and improving it). It takes a while and in the meantime you're less flexible and more prone to pulling other things so be careful on that end.
posted by fshgrl at 11:20 AM on October 15, 2013

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