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Caesarean Section Scar Massage – July 2023

Caesarean section scar massage

After having a caesarean-section (C-section), scar tissue will develop as the wound heals. Fibres are arranged in random directions, which may cause the tissue to stick together in the wrong place (known as adhesions). Massaging the C-section scar can help the tissue to find its proper place and prevent it from spreading to other areas, including nearby organs. In the early stages scar massage will increase blood flow to the area, which will help with the healing process. It may also improve the smoothness of the scar, reduce numbness and help you feel reconnected to this part of your body.

The reasons for doing C-section scar massage?

It may prevent;

How to do it?

In the early period, the scar can be very tender, red and painful. At this stage, it may be best to work around the scar, working the tissue above and below. You should not cause yourself more pain (slight burn is ok, but you should not experience pain).  Lie down on your back in a comfortable position, with a slight bend in the knees if needed. Place your fingertips above or below the scar line, with your fingers placed very superficially (just lightly over the top skin layer). Slowly and gently, see how easily the skin is able to move up and down and side to side, or move the tissue in small circles. If you feel any stiffness or stretch in any directions just hold it there until you feel the pressure ease off or the tissue feels like it’s melting. Once you feel freer movement in all direction along the length of the scar you can progress to deeper layers (muscle layer) and repeat the process. Eventually you will be able to move closer to the scar and you can start to gently roll the scar between your fingers.

As you feel ready you can move to organ level. Bend your knees and relax your tummy, let your fingertips sink deep into abdominal cavity, going deeper than the muscle layer making sure you only massage the tissue around the scar.

When to start, how often and how long?

You can start as soon as the scar is fully healed and all stitches are fully dissolved. Start every day if you are able to, but don’t worry if you miss a day. It should not take you more than 10 minutes. Once you feel that the scar tissue is moving freely in all directions in all layers, you might want to continue weekly then monthly and then re-visit if you feel tissue stiffness again.  

If you struggle or are experiencing persistent pain or any issues with the above, contact your midwife or health visitor to be referred to Pelvic Health Specialist.

Watch this space for a video coming soon.

Author: Daniela Long, Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapist. 03 July 2023