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Scar tissue

Catrin2011-03-08 03:20:36 +0000 #1
My PT found lots of scar tissue in my hamstring yesterday - the consequences of my stubbornness last fall about not stopping and seeing the doctor when I should have. He put me on a 'Iso-Kinetic"? machine that was quite interesting after he tortured my leg for some time with assorted implements of pain to work out the scar tissue.

I guess that it was nice that he found physical confirmation of the hamstring strain/pull - there were multiple things going on that it was difficult to decide what it all was. Doesn't mean there weren't other things happening at the same time, there was, but it was nice to have something confirmed.

He also had me lightly jogging on the treadmill for 6 minutes - that is too hard on my knees to do it again (I HATE treadmills) but no pain in hips, back, or hammies. Progress - even if I am a little sore today - spinning Thursday evening and personal trainer session a couple of hours before PT
emily_in_nc2011-03-08 03:24:55 +0000 #2
Interesting that your PT could discern scar tissue, catrin. Did he say how he knew it was scar tissue?

I'm curious in knowing the difference between scar tissue and trigger points, for anyone who'd care to enlighten. I have what I always call a "crunchy" area in my right butt cheek near where I think of as the piriformis. When I massage this area, it feels "crunchy" if I press deeply and is sore. It "hurts so good" to massage the piriformis area with a firm foam roller.

I believe this area of "crunchiness" developed after my cycling accident in which I fractured my pelvis in 2005, though it's fairly far from the fractured area, which was from the outer wing of my right ilium to the sacrum and is plated and pinned from the front, not from the buttock side. I've mentioned the "crunchiness" to a couple of different orthopedists and PTs, but oddly, none of them have tried to feel the crunchiness, maybe because it's on my buttock and thus an awkward place for them to palpate/massage? I have no idea. My DH thinks it's scar tissue. Does this sound right? Or is a trigger point? Any guesses?

Thanks!
Catrin2011-03-08 03:56:06 +0000 #3
No, but I didn't ask because I could tell it felt differently from other portions of the hamstring. It felt quite rough and "bumpy"? Difficult to describe, but he did go quite deep with his implements. I do not know what a trigger point is

He did give me a piriformis stretch and it is very obvious that it is extremely tight in my OTHER hip - the stretch has me almost to the point of tears...but I am working at it.
emily_in_nc2011-03-08 04:35:51 +0000 #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by Catrin

No, but I didn't ask because I could tell it felt differently from other portions of the hamstring. It felt quite rough and "bumpy"? Difficult to describe, but he did go quite deep with his implements. I do not know what a trigger point is

From Wikipedia : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_point :

Trigger points or trigger sites are described as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. [1] Trigger point practitioners believe that palpable nodules are small contraction knots[ambiguous] and a common cause of pain.

The description of your scar tissue as rough or bumpy may be similar to my "crunchy" area. If it is scar tissue, I guess I don't understand exactly how it forms.
OakLeaf2011-03-08 04:50:47 +0000 #5
I've often heard therapists talk about adhesions in the muscles that form around trigger points. I expect it's the same thing?
Catrin2011-03-08 04:20:54 +0000 #6
Quote:

Originally Posted by emily_in_nc

From Wikipedia : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trigger_point :

Trigger points or trigger sites are described as hyperirritable spots in skeletal muscle that are associated with palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibers. [1] Trigger point practitioners believe that palpable nodules are small contraction knots[ambiguous] and a common cause of pain.

The description of your scar tissue as rough or bumpy may be similar to my "crunchy" area. If it is scar tissue, I guess I don't understand exactly how it forms.

Mine was the consequence of a strained/pulled hamstring - I think that often causes micro-tears - so that makes sense to me but I am no specialist. There seemed no doubt in his mind what he felt.

It makes sense that both scar tissue and little contraction knots would cause pain in a muscle... Perhaps if Knotted or one of our other PT members happens to see this that she can educate us?
KnottedYet2011-03-08 05:01:48 +0000 #7
Quote:

Originally Posted by emily_in_nc

I've mentioned the "crunchiness" to a couple of different orthopedists and PTs, but oddly, none of them have tried to feel the crunchiness, maybe because it's on my buttock and thus an awkward place for them to palpate/massage? I have no idea. My DH thinks it's scar tissue. Does this sound right? Or is a trigger point? Any guesses?

Thanks!

Crunchiness is a cool example of how the body reinforces itself.

Don't hate the crunch! It's a sign that all your systems are working!

Imagine the muscles as kind of like sausages, they each have a "wrap" around them, like a sausage skin.

Normally, the wrap is slippery and slimey so the muscles can slide over and under each other efficiently.

When you are injured or out of whack, your body sends out the chemical signal to change that slimey collagen to sticky collagen, in an attempt to splint the injured/inflamed area.

Your muscles start to stick to each other, and when you intentionally push them past each other (either stretching or with massage) the sticky collagen wrap makes crunchy noises like velcro as they skid.

Your job becomes figuring out WHY your body decided its best option was to glue down the neighborhood, and then correcting the irritant (posture? injury? weakness?) so the body feels secure and restores the muscle wrap to its normal slippery and slimey state.

(and trust me, buttocks are not awkward to orthopods or PTs. I've palpated more buttocks in my career than a testosterone-poisoned teenaged boy could ever DREAM of!)
KnottedYet2011-03-08 04:46:50 +0000 #8
Quote:

Originally Posted by Catrin

Mine was the consequence of a strained/pulled hamstring - I think that often causes micro-tears - so that makes sense to me but I am no specialist.

Nup. MACRO tears.

But I still think your problem originated in your lumbar spine.

You still doing those lumbar extensions ten times every 2 hours?

Didja tell your PT that I don't think he deserves his Cert. MDT when he misses such a dramatic posterior lumbar derangement sign as you presented? Send him over, I'll beat some sense into him. (Knot pounds fist into palm, and looks as fierce as it is possible for an overweight middle-aged gray-haired woman to look.)

Remind him I'm watching his a$$ and he'd better treat you right and fix you up good!!!!!!

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