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Give me something 4 pain?Can scar tissue cause all this pain?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,900
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Chronic Pain
:''( Can scar tissue cause all this pain?


  • Look into the condition called Adhesive Arachnoiditis. See if it's something that fits your current condition. I have it myself. Have you had recent surgery, I mean within a year or so? My NS told me that with Arachnoiditis there is an overproduction of scarring (adhesions) which attach to anything they can. Pulling and tugging on nerves and nerve roots causeing (me) constant intractible pain. I hope this is not the case for you, but thought I would throw it out there as something to investigate and talk to your doctor about.

    Peace and hugs,

  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! i have scar tissue and it can really cause severe pain. you don't say what pain options you are on. good luck and i hope you find a treatment plan soon. Jenny :)
  • Hiya,
    Welcome to spine Health >:D<

    Angie x
  • I was wondering about scar tissue also. My MRI last week showed that I have scar tissue at the L5-L4 level and its affecting my L4 nerve root. I'm in considerable pain but my dr. is saying that scar tissue would not cause pain. I disagree and am in the process of finding another doctor. Any opinions would be appreciated.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,706
    I have a lot of old scar tissue from my various lumbar surgeries. The scar tissue (internal and external) itself has not cause any pain, but what impact it has can be painful.
    With the scar tissue, I have lost flexibility and mobility. So, if I do not do the exercises to help work out and stretch the scar tissue, I will be tighter, my legs start to hurt, etc
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron, is you scar tissue on the nerve root? I'm just curious. I have tried stretches and they tend to make the pain in my legs worse. But if eventually exercises will stretch out the scar tissue and give me relief I will keep at it.

  • My scar tissue is actually the biggest cause of my pain. My nerve root, not sure which one, is completely flattened like a pancake. It's been completely squeezed shut, and the mri that shows this is over 6 years old. This was right after my 3rd & last back surgery. There's no telling how much more and worse it is now. I actually have daydreams about taking a knife or scissors and jabbing them in my back just to cut through the scar tissue. It sounds soooo good to me! I try to stretch on a daily basis but almost every time I get stuck in a position and can't get back out of it. Kinda scary when that happens. It happens when I bend over. But yes, scar tissue can cause pain, but the downside is there isn't much that can be done about it. As far as I know. I plan on looking into that RF procedure to see if it would help with the pain.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,706
    My scar tissue (internal) is partially in the L4/L5 region. That was from my first set of surgeries (1978-1986).. Little was done to work that scar tissue, so basically know it is so rigid, there is not alot that can be done. I've discussed this with my doctor and they just felt, ok, we can operate to remove some of that scar tissue, but the new surgery is going to leave scar tissue anyway
    The external scar tissue is what is really causing more difficulties for me. Besides my lumbar scar tissues, I have a good 5 inch one on my back (result of a recent 3rd degree burn). That is being worked on so I wont have as much tightness
    Stretches have been the only way to loosen this up.. If I a while without doing those exercises, things just tighten up again.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I was told today that that was mostly a large portion of the cause of my pain and that there was nothing that my ortho could do to help me with it. They referred me out to PM. I have the tightness and constriction of movement that the others of you discuss here but I don't know of anything to do about it. I guess I'll do a literature search on this and see what comes up. If I find any useful information, I'll be sure to pass it along.

    Hang in there, ya'll. We don't have a lot of options. :X
  • Not sure if this is the same but i have a protruding lump , in the L/4 L/5 region, and its very painful. When i have had doctors take a look and when they touch that area it is very painful, and hurts when i lay on my right side and on my back. The surgeon that did the operation told me there was no way that scar tissue could be painful. I am telling you its there and causes a lot of pain,and has been there since the operation. I never has PT after surgery there was not any after care.

    Angie x
  • Well, scar tissue alone doesn't cause pain, but what it wraps around or touches, etc. does. That is what should have been explained to you. This stuff grows, it can go anywhere, and there is no telling what it can connect to. As to that lump that you have, what has he said about that? A protuding lump just doesn't sound very good. If he doesn't have the answers that you need maybe you should get a second opinion? I would! Good luck!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,706
    I was told that with scar tissue you really have about six months after it forms to really be able to correct it to the point you dont have to deal with the pain and the associated problems. After that period of time, it takes much more to work with that scar tissue. After a year without ways to make the scar tissue more pliable it becomes an almost impossible problem to resolve.
    I do know that if I haven't been doing some stretching and other exercises aimed at the scar tissue, it would become so rigid that the snowball effects of discomfort begin.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Scar tissue can be worked, but it takes dedication to work it when it hurts.

    Since I had my SCS generator implanted in my right upper sitting spot, I have not been able to do my normal stretches for a couple of months. Then when I started, I wound up pulling all the slack in the extension wires to my leads into my lower back. So I have been working at getting this all figured out.

    In the meantime my leg and hip have started to hurt again and I know it's something that can be stretched out. I did some stretching today and oh man after about 30 minutes of focusing on a couple specific areas the relief is awesome. While I was doing it though ... well it's a good thing only I get to hear what's playing on my iPod at the time!

    For the type of scar tissue that can't be stretched out, there are many people who wind up with pain pumps and nowadays spinal cord stimulators.

    Don't lose hope. You just have to find a doc who knows what some of the latest things available are.

  • How can it change when it's completely constricting a nerve root? I had discussed the problems of this with my (good) surgeon when we found it and he said there was nothing that could be done about it. Except for surgery to remove it but that isn't a good option as it tends to grow back. How would stretching change the effect on the nerve root?
  • As for the protruding lump they did a scan and ruled out anything life threatening, thats all that was said. Because i complained about the pain in the L4/L5 area the surgeon thought i was questioning him, but i was not. I said i just wanted to no what it is and why it is there, because it was not there before the surgery.

    Angie x
  • I was wondering the same thing. How can anything help the scar tissue on my L4 nerve root? Heck if strechting will work I'll try it.
  • I also have lot of scar tissue. I have been doing streching exercise's from day 2 since my operation 5wks ago. Hopefully it will do me good in the long run . ~X(

    So is everyone saying that if you do the stretching right away it will eventually minimize the pain, Or what? Not sure, there does not seem to be much information about the scar tissue on this site.

    I mean how it develops ? Why? And how can you prevent it?
    And how to make it stop hurting? :/ zolenniaq
  • Movement keeps tissue viable and healthy and reduces the amount of scaring that takes place.

    If I understand it correctly, in basic terms, stretching is like giving your nerves a deep tissue massage. It helps to break down the scar tissue and allows your body to reabsorb it over a period of time.

    In order to facilitate this, a continual regimen of movement, good hydration and good diet are necessary.

  • you feel ok since doing the stretches? I would ask the advice of the PT or ortho surgeon, you have a weak spot there and have to be so careful not to do further damage. I was anxiuos to get back to work and wanted to get well as soon as i could, i did to much to soon, thats why i suffer so much now . I recently asked my doctor "how do i know when to stop exercise" he replied " when you feel pain, because that is your body talking back to you "Just Please be careful . >:D<

    Angie x
  • Your statement makes alot of sense to me. Why then do Drs tell patients to wear braces for so long or in my case won't even allow me to do exercises? Movement also keeps the blood flowing which is good for healing. I personally feel like my doctor did me an injustice by not advicing me about the possibility of scar tissue and ways to try to prevent it.
  • Hi Angie By the way love black country my family from there small world . >:D<

    Yes I feel doing the stretches helps me , and I was told to do them by physiotherapist who I see weekly. Like C says it feels like a tissue massage. I feel better after, 4 times a day I do 15 mins of stretching and it feels good. I don't get pain. I also massage my bum with a tennis ball that is wonderful Try it up against a wall, and roll over your entire back and shoulders wonderful :) Highly recommended also by phsio :)))
  • I have been told that when post-op pain is suggested by scar tissue or even bone pressing on nerve roots after fusion by scan a "selective nerve root block" from a good pain management injecting doctor can be diagnostic as to whether that is the source of persisting pain. What is done with that info. varies a lot surgone to surgeon; I just a my nerve root block today...sp we shall see.

    I would be interested in hearing what other options people have pursued after this was diagnosed as well. Thanks
  • By the time I got to my "good" surgeon and had reconstructive surgery, I already had a huge amount of scar tissue growing. The MRI that I had shortly after that surgery showed the nerve root was already completely sealed off. Then because of the nature of my surgery I wasn't in a position to be able to do any stretching exercises. This surgery was intense, delicate, and I had been cut open on both the front and back so I had a lot of sutures to deal with. About 7 inches on both sides! Also due to the fact that so much bone grafting had been taken from my pelvis, I was in extreme pain for over a year and it took at least a year for me to recover. Now if I had been told to stretch after the first 2 surgeries, that may have given me a better and different outcome. But after the second, which was a fusion, I was put into a brace for over a month. I hated that brace! So now that it's here to stay, the scar tissue, I want ti find a way to remove it from the nerve root, or whatever else it has attached itself to over the last 6 years. This is when I have those day dreams about shoving a knife or scissors into my back just to get rid of it. Does anyone think that RF would be helpful?
  • :''( hi all im a 64 year old lady who has had 3 back fusion surgeries and 3 removal of hardware now i have right foot pain.Pain like no other .. its so painfull i cant work i have no social life and i hurt all the time.At one point i thought of ending it all . im on lyrica and endocet 10/650 the pain still breaks through. i have been to cleveland clinic they say nothing can be done, been for accupunture, pain management basicly i have been told to live with it.the pain is like an electrical shock in my right foot the toes hurt . I cant stand socks on or even a blanket covering my foot. I went to a neurosurgeon in Toronto and he said that a drop of blood was left after surgery and dried and is touching a nerve and i also have scaring which touches nerves causing pain in right foot endings.Its an awful way to live . I would like to hear from any1 who has what i have please. signed Lil
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