Let’s Talk about Scars from Epidurals and Back surgery!
Did you know….
Those “tiny” epidural and laminectomy scars can also cause scarring. In fact, scar adhesions will form from ANY back surgery can affect day to day activities in both men and women.
So, what are Epidural adhesions or epidural fibrosis? The medical definition is "a non-physiologic scar formation stemming from tissue trauma in the epidural space." Think about it, the space on the spine in-between the vertebrae aren very “tiny,” and surgeons do such amazing and detailed work to help their patients, diving into the worlds tiniest “zip codes.” And with any back surgery, scar tissue could build up resulting in referred pain in legs and back.
The “fancy-schmacy” term for the chronic pain condition after a surgical procedure that can actually affect up to 20-54% of patients who receive any type of back surgery including epidural injections include: Post Surgical Spine Syndrome, AKA: Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. Think of it as: when the outcome of spinal surgery doesn’t result in the pre-surgical expectations of both the patient and the surgeon.
The following factoids below are taken from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913031/ Failed Back Surgery Syndrome: A Review Article James R. Daniell1,2 and Orso L. Osti
👉Interesting Factoid #1: Epidural Fibrosis has been reported to be the culprit behind 46% of cases of Postsurgical spine syndrome aka Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. Speaking from experience after undergoing a surgical lumbar discectomy from a herniated disc on my lumbar spine in 2004 - I can attest to the long-term ramifications of “just dealing with referred pain, thinking it is the way it is." And Although I wouldn’t call my surgery “a failure” as it definitely got me out of excruciating pain….it was the lingering effects I wasn’t prepared for. …. until I had my scar tissue worked on with MSTR® and the chronic pain in my back and down my leg in particular dissipated tremendously. I teach the MSTR® technique and in one of classes, my students worked on my back scar (yes, the teacher became the patient) and the results were mind blowing. I could feel freedom of movement immediately! I wonder how many therapists do not take care of themselves. Maybe this might be you as well?
👉Interesting Factoid: #2: In the same article above Failed Bak Surgery: 60%–80% among the global population experience a lifetime affliction of Low Back Pain – ranking it one of the most common health complaints. The most common reasons for complaints that I see as a Neuro Pilates and Corrective Movement Therapist and what caused my disc herniation was an improper lifting technique. I literally went to grab a heavy weight off the floor while twisting – not a good combination. Others causes include poor abdominal connection or engagement, a sedentary lifestyle, a lot of sitting, poor back muscle strength, smokers, obesity and more. And think about it, who wants to move when it hurts to move? Then it just cycles, you feel depressed for not moving etc. but it hurts, so you don’t move and become more sedentary and gain weight. And it simply continues. Who remembers the old “Doan’s Pills” commercials for back aches in the 70’s? I used to think “how ridiculous” – but it’s not so funny when it’s YOU, feeling the pain! Surgery is often the one option to get people out of pain quickly. I wasn't able ti touch my toes or go up and downstairs, get in or out of a car etc. and as a PE teacher back in the day that was not a good thing and surgery was my only option.
Add to the mix of back pain, any surgical scars and you now have a perfect storm brewing for pain with scar adhesions causing limited range of motion, possible reduction in the natural lumbar curve leading to more instability affecting balance and translating down to the sacroiliac joints. Not to mention each surgery and subsequent surgery, (has the potential to create even more scar tissue. And the cycle continues…Rinse wash and repeat…
👉Interesting Factoid #3: Between 1998 and 2008, the number of lumbar fusion surgeries performed in the US jumped from 77,682 to 210,407. (I am one of those patients by the way.) Get this👉 in 2002 the total number of spinal operations exceeded one million! Yikes!!! The overall “failure” rate of lumbar spine surgery was estimated to be 10%–46%. More surprising is that even though the medical realm has made significant advances in technology and surgical techniques, those rates listed above have not changed much. I have to ask the question could earlier prevention have helped i.e., Pilates, corrective movement, employing The Neuro Studio’s 4 quadrant stability work and then after surgery simply addressing the scar adhesions with the McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release® could have possibly decrease these numbers?
🤔Did you know patients with Postsurgical spine syndrome aka Failed Back Surgery Syndrome often experience higher levels of pain and a poorer quality of life and movement function compared with those with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, complex regional pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia.
But it is not all doom and gloom. Like I said earlier there are effective treatments to deal with scar tissue out there and one of them is noninvasive and gentle – the McLoughin Scar Tissue Release®. You can read the research here👉: https://www.mcloughlin-scar-release.com/research
To aid in recovery from any surgery, ask your doctor or surgeon if adding in a qualified corrective movement therapist into your world who can work specifically with balance, flexibility and strength respectful of your limitations and adding in a few McLoughlin Tissue Release® sessions, for your recovery plan might be beneficial. Slow and Steady wins this race! Consult your surgeon and Physician if you are experiencing any acute pain or chronic pain longer than expected and work out a plan with them. This may include other medical treatments and or additional surgical help, or it may include MSTR® a non-invasive scar release therapy coupled with corrective movement. I can provide names of therapists all over the world if you are not in my area.
The McLoughlin Scar Tissue Release® Technique – A researched proven, non-invasive & gentle therapy - works beautifully. And it doesn’t matter how many months or “decades” have passed with your scar(s).
If you are reading this and this, is you, then I'd love to treat you or introduce you to other certified practitioners around the world! If you want to learn this technique and are a body worker or health care specialist, then - I’d love to teach you! I one of 4 Instructors in the US and one of 25 Instructors in the world! Send me a message or comment below if this affects your life or the lives of your patients and clients.
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