Can massage guns break up scar tissue?

Scars are, as we all know, a part of life. Much the same as we should take care of our injuries, so we should also take care of our scars.
The most common way to do this is by massaging the affected area. For example, physical therapists will often apply this technique after surgery or will teach their patients how to do it themselves.
The massage gun is a revolutionary breakthrough in massage therapy, widely used by therapists and other experts. In this article, we’ll talk about how this formidable tool for self-therapy can be used to treat scar tissue.

What is scar tissue?

Scar tissue is a general designation for tissue that forms as the result of an injury, as the body repairs the damaged area. It can develop both externally and internally. Bone fractures, for example, will develop a type of bony scar tissue called ‘callus’. This article, however, will focus on external scars on the skin, which can be physically reached.
Scar tissue consists mainly of collagen fibres, which are fibrous connective tissues that serve many purposes within the body. When a scar forms, our bodies randomly lay down collagen cells in the affected area, which leads to it looking different from the surrounding skin.

Does massage break up scar tissue?

After scar tissue forms, it changes and is remodelled over time. Eventually, it starts behaving like normal tissue, a mechanism which is part of the natural healing process. It is not, therefore, a static fixture. As a scar goes through the effect of the forces and stresses that it encounters over time, it changes. This process ensures that the newly formed tissue can cope adequately with the demands placed upon it in terms of range of motion, strength, and mobility.
Stretching, exercising and massaging are the most recommendable methods for healthily remodelling scar tissue.

Does massage break up scar tissue?
Next to getting your body moving, massaging ​​the scar is the most important solution. Remember, however, to wait until after the skin has completely healed. The scar should be fully closed, with no scabbing or drainage of fluids. Massaging a scar prematurely could cause it to reopen or tear.
The use of massages on scar tissue, also known as scar mobilization, is widespread, commonly recommended, and has ample support from experts. Despite minimal scientific research into this topic, massage therapy is frequently used post-surgery on scar tissue.

Can massage guns break up scar tissue?

This is where massage guns come into play.

A massage gun is a device very commonly used after workouts to treat tired muscles and to aid recovery, massage guns are used widely by professional athletes and are available in physiotherapy clinics. Our devices use percussive therapy, meaning that they oscillate forward and backward, applying mechanical pressure that reaches deep into the tissues.
The potential of this technology is revolutionary in terms of the effect it can have on your recovery routine, but the basic mechanism through which it works is very similar to a traditional massage.
Massage guns can be used not only for muscle therapy after exercising, but also for massaging scars after surgery or injury. The deep tissue massage can help to break down the scar tissue and treat the affected area. The process by which the mechanical stimuli of the massage induce cellular responses, promoting the remodelling of the scar structure, is called mechanotransduction.

How to use a massage gun to break up scar tissue?

You should use the massage gun much as you would for any other purpose: select the head and the speed which feel most comfortable, place the device on the desired area and let it do the work. Move the massage gun slowly, in a circular motion.

What are the benefits of scar massage?

Here are some of the potential benefits of using a massage gun on scar tissue:

  • It can increase blood flow. The increased blood flow in the area can help to drain excess fluids and reduce inflammation.
  • It can loosen a scar. This means that the scar won’t stick so firmly to the tissues under and around it.
  • It may help alleviate sensations of pain, hypersensitivity and itching.
  • It makes the scar tissue softer and more malleable.
  • It helps decrease scar tissue build up.
  • It may help to flatten certain bulky scars or prevent the scar from becoming bulky.
  • It may help with the appearance of the scar.
  • It can break down scar tissue: collagen cells clump together in disorganized fashion after surgery or injury, and massages help realign the fibres.

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Conclusion

Scars are a natural part of the healing process, and they respond to stimuli. We should take care of scar tissue, and the most common way to do this is by massaging the affected area.
Scars are formed mainly by collagen fibres that are laid out by the body in a disorganised fashion. A massage gun, a fantastic tool for muscular and tissue recovery, can help to break down these fibres by providing deep tissue massage in the comfort of your own home.
Don’t forget to always consult a health professional if you have any concerns.

You might also be interested in this article: Pulseroll massage gun is scientifically increasing your performance

References:
Cho, Y. S., Jeon, J.H., Hong, A. et al. The Effect of Burn Rehabilitation Massage Therapy on Hypertrophic Scar After Burn: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Burns. December 2014; 40(8): 1513-1520.
Deflorin, C., Hohenauer, E., Stoop, R., van Daele, U., Clijsen, R., and Taeymans, J. Physical Management of Scar Tissue: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. October 2020; 26(10): 854–865.

https://www.britishskinfoundation.org.uk/blog/the-benefits-of-scar-massage

https://www.physio.co.uk/treatments/massage/benefits-of-massage/breakdown-of-scar-tissue.php
https://www.verywellhealth.com/scar-tissue-massage-and-management-2696639