In the USA, one in three babies were born via cesarean section in 2014. (NIH). How does this major surgical procedure and the resulting scar tissue affect women’s health?
First, we want to share with you what layers of tissue get cut in a C-Section.
- Adipose (yellow and fatty)
- Fascia, a strong, fibrous connective tissue layer with dense parallel fibers
- Rectus abdominal muscle
- Peritoneum (the last protective layer of the abdominal organs)
- Uterus, a highly muscular organ
After the surgery, the soft tissues reorganize into scar tissue. Scar tissue is often denser, thicker and less hydrated than normal tissue. The connective tissue fibers of the fascia often lose their parallel organization, becoming random and tangled.
Scar Tissue Can Change The Shape Of Our Structure
When we experience any kind of trauma, pain causes us to brace ourselves and limit movement in the injured area and sometimes throughout the body. When the tissue heals, this shortening is often recorded in the connective tissue and becomes part of our structure.
The trauma from a cesarean section can create a downward pull in the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. This shortening can limit the movement of the ribcage, cause a forward rounding of the upper back and a forward position of the head. That is to say, the pain in your neck or low back could be related to the surgical scar in your abdomen.
Additionally, adhesions may form as the tissues heal. Simply put, adhesions are the attachment of one tissue to another that was not intended in our original design. Adhesions can affect our intestines, bladder and reproductive organs and cause health problems including intestinal obstruction and infertility.
Scar Tissue Can Impede The Flow Of Qi (energy) In Our Bodies
In Chinese medicine, our health is greatly influenced by the smooth flow of energy. Scar tissue is often thicker and dryer than the surrounding soft tissue. Functionally, it becomes a resistor and does not conduct energy well.
Scar tissue can create an energetic roadblock and prevent the healing that you seek. After a cesarean section you may develop hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, sinus issues, asthma, migraine headaches, low back and neck problems and more. Typically, the link between scar tissue and health problems goes unnoticed.
Acupuncture can be used to restore scar tissue from Cesarean Sections. In our practice, we palpate the scar to check for tenderness and texture. Tenderness is a sign of inflammation and that the tissue has not fully healed. The acupuncture needle affects the conduction of energy through the tissue immediately. Additionally, the needle can be used to gently create small openings in the tissue and an opportunity for the tissue to heal more fully, becoming healthy and resilient once again.
The results are often remarkable. Longstanding problems (some that are decades old) can resolve. Five Element Acupuncture supports the health of the mind, body and spirit to come into balance after surgery and at any time in your life.
The contents of this article are not meant to be diagnostic or prescriptive. Always consult a physician before choosing a course of treatment.
Featured Image Credit: scarsandspots.com