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Why isn't this pain going away?

Posted by Vicki on 08/06/2012

When you sustain an injury, the damaged tissue heals with scar tissue. Scar tissue when viewed under a microscope looks similar to cotton ball fibers, running every direction. When you pull on a cotton ball, it "tears" rather than stretches. Scar tissue in the middle of muscle fibers does very much the same thing, it tears rather than stretches. Normal muscle tissue appears like the fibers in fabric, layed down in a very straight line that will give when stretched.

After an injury, when you call upon the injured muscle to contract, the scar tissue will just tear loose and cause you pain upon use of the muscle. Exercises that stretch the injured muscle force the scar tissue to line up so that when you contract the injured muscle, the scar tissue begins to stretch rather than tear.

Once the scar tissue is remodeled you can begin to strengthen the muscle with a light contraction working up to stronger contractions. The gradual loading of the tissue will then allow the muscle to contract without continuing to reinjure the muscle and create further pain. If you continue to have pain over a long period of time, you should seek help from a physical therapist to assure you are performing the exercises correctly.

Don't live with pain after an injury. Do something about it!