Casey's Blog

Ceasarean births, scar tissue and mobilization

Mar 12, 2021

28% of births in Canada is a belly or cesarean birth. It should be no higher than 15%, but that's a rant for another day.

The surgeon cuts:

  • horizontally through the skin and superficial fascia (what you think of as your belly fat, but it's so much more)

  • vertically through the linea alba (what separates your right and left six pack)

  • horizontally through the uterus

  • and voila, we've found the baby!

  • then they stick *some* of those parts back together and send you home.

    Sarah c_s.png 

    Pregnancy to begin with is a massive shift in a woman's pelvis and abdomen, as you can well imagine, but a major surgery on top of that can have a massive impact in both the short and long term if the scar tissue is left untreated.

    Scar tissue is disorganized, fibrous connective tissue that your body creates to stabilize the structures after an injury or surgery. Luckily for you, it works really well at doing it's job! Unfortunately, it gets a little overzealous and needs some coaxing to relax after it's accomplished its mission. Remember, the scar tissue is not limited to the tiny little line on your skin, but it goes layers and layers deep.

    Cesarean scar can tissue can:

    • pull the torso forward, due to everything aligning "back to normal" on the front of the body

    • create tethers between the organs so they can't move as freely as they should, which impacts the function

    • the organ fixations, scar tissue attachments and fascial adhesions will impact the musculoskeletal system (muscles and joints) throughout the body, as the body will "hug" and move around the scars to protect them from tearing

    The most commonly impacted joints are:

    • sacroliliac and pubic symphisis joints (they always work together)

    • hips

    • lumbar spine

    • ribs

    • right shoulder (due to the attachments of the parietal peritoneum and the liver)

    • neck (because of the relationship with the lumbar spine, not to mention epidural scar tissue in the meninges)

    Functional, day-to-day things you may notice are:

    • incontinence

    • pain during sex

    • irritable bowel syndrome, often leaning on the constipation side

    • less pleasure sensation or physical signs of arousal

    • painful periods

    • pelvic pain during basic movements - like standing up too quick or climbing stairs

    • abs that won't work, or "tent" in the middle when you do something like a sit up (PLEASE DON'T DO SIT UPS IF THIS IS A THING)



    Start treating the scar yourself:

    • GENTLY play with it, letting your fingers mobilize the tissue

    • get on a Coregeous ball, which will help mobilize all the fascia around the areas as well

    Come see me or another trained professional. Look some someone who specializes in:

    • scar tissue mobilization

    • visceral manipulation

    • pelvic floor / women's health

    Timing for scar tissue work:

    • if the scar has been there and not touched for decades, you need this more than anyone

    • if you just had a baby, WAIT! Wait at least 6 - 8 weeks with nothing beyond gentle touch, letting your body know you're coming to heal it

    • keep working and loving on your scars