C-Section Scar Massage: How to Do It and Why

Could your c-section scar the reason you have a nagging shoulder injury, hip pain, neck pain, or back pain?

The short answer is, “You bet.”

Scar tissue acts very much like a million little sticky spider webs. This is great for closing a wound, but it doesn’t discriminate and will stick to other internal organs nearby. And scar tissue is tight and fibrous, making it naturally “tight” and often limiting.  It is a pretty well-known fact that c-section adhesions can increase the risk of bladder and bowel dysfunctions, but they can even be the culprit behind that stupid shoulder injury that won’t quite resolve.

Think of it this way. Those tight “webs” of scar tissue are almost like having a shirt tucked in very tightly. You can easily see how this tightness would limit your range of motion. And whenever we have a limited range of motion, we are more likely to experience injury. Your body is a master compensator and will use compensatory strategies to get the job done, whether you are lifting your toddler into a swing, or leaning over to put the baby in the crib.

How to perform c-section scar so that it doesn’t hurt years later. 

C-section scar massage can help to reduce adhesions and “tightness.” It can help to restore elasticity to that tissue, reduce pain and sensitivity on and around your c-section scar, and keep those spider webs from attaching on to surrounding organs and other unwanted areas.

Be sure to wait until the wound is FULLY healed (typically around six weeks). Your start by desensitizing the skin around the scar. Use a cotton swab or a cotton ball and simply touch the skin above and below your scar. Once you get used to that, you can begin work directly on and around the scar.


Stretches that help reduce lingering c-section scar pain.

You can also help combat that c-section scar tightness by performing specific stretches. Again, it is SO important to wait until your incision has fully healed. I do not recommend massaging your c-section scar while pregnant. These stretches, however, are great during pregnancy and postpartum.

Is it ever too late to improve c-section scar adhesions?

You have this optimal window to prevent and reduce c-section scar tension and adhesions within that first six months after your cesarean birth. That said, it is never too late to improve and reduce the tension around the scar.

How do I get rid of my c-section shelf? 

That c-section shelf is a real beast. I’m the proud owner of one too. The reason we get it, is because the scar tissue is tight and the skin above is not, and so it hangs. If you learn anything throughout motherhood, it is that gravity is real. By breaking up some of the tightness around your scar, you can reduce the appearance of the c-section shelf. There isn’t a whole lot we can do about loose skin postpartum though. Time does help a whole lot with the appearance of skin. And remember, don’t be hard on yourself. You created life and that often shows. And that is not just okay–it is badass.

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