Scars from burns are serious business. The skin and fascia around the burn contracts and can cause motor control problems far from the area of the burn itself. Moreover, burns often damage nerve endings. The nerves then need to be stimulated appropriately to be regrown and integrated into the vast information system that is our nervous system. Burn scars DO NOT release on their own.
My 6 year old son, like his mom, is a little bit reckless. He tries everything, sometimes with a wicked sense of enthusiasm and a lack of caution. Thus, he’s got a lot of scars. He has a big one on his belly from leaning over a frying pan. This one is recent, central and also pretty big. Cooking shirtless is now banned in our household — for all of us! This scar on his belly has been causing him pain particularly during swimming lessons. He can feel it ‘burning and itching’ with the repetitive twist and reach of his front stroke. It’s inhibiting his obliques.
There are a variety of treatments for Burn Scars
Often the first treatment used for burn scars is a silicon gel treatment. These can be purchased at the pharmacy. Carbon dioxide laser therapy is also a treatment that is being used to treat bad burns. For really bad third degree burns skin grafting is sometimes considered. There are other treatment methods too. Traditional acupuncture has very effective treatments for burns. I use manual therapy techniques that release scar tissue that is adhereing various structures together and providing misinformation to the motor control center creating movement dysfunctions and / or chronic pain.
Fascial Release Techniques for Burn Scars
Each burn scar requires individualized release techniques. The choice of technique takes into account the sensitivity of the nervous system to the release method. Directed, slow and methodical releases are usually the ones that work best for burn scars. However, occasionally the release only takes a few moments and needs to be done quickly. The direction and type of release is also systematic and precise. How is the technique, direction and type of release chosen?
First of all, the direction of releases are based on the testing of NeuroKinetic Therapy. NKT testing shows which motor functions are inhibited by the scar. It also shows the neuromotor response to different types of release. Additionally, I pay close attention to the anatomical structures beneath the scar and surrounding it and how they have been affected by the adhesions created by scarring. Furthermore, the moment by moment physiological and emotional response of the client is really important to monitor as the release is happening. This anatomical understanding of the layering of tissue, the fiber directions of fascia and muscle, and the functional attachments of the layers of muscle and connective tissue right down to the bone is crucial is getting good results; but it’s no more important than the emotional aspect.
For more information on Burn Scars check search my blog. If you’d like to really learn the abdominal anatomy I mentioned in this blog in more depth consider taking the Immaculate Dissection courses offered by Dr. Kathy Dooley and her team. If you live in South West Ontario and have a burn scar that you haven’t had assessed or treated contact me for a scar rehab appointment by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or book an appointment for an Initial Assessment.