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An adhesion is a formation that occurs after trauma to the tissues.  Tissue damage creates an inflammatory response in the tissues. As the tissues heal, cells regenerate, the tissues shrink, and the fascial system may become bound or restricted in the area, creating an adhesion.  Externally, they may be seen as a scar on the skin.  Internally, the scar may not be able to be seen, but may be able to be felt by the patient.

Adhesions result in mechanical dysfunction in the area but may also affect other areas of the body as well.  This may create more irritation and set up a cycle, which increases the formation of adhesions that will persist long after the original trauma has healed.  Adhesions may attach to organs, nerves, muscles and other structures, restricting movement and creating blockages and pain.

Many people consider adhesions to be abnormal connections between two body parts that results from surgery.  The accepted standard medical treatment for adhesions is considered to be surgical removal.  This is a very narrow view that does not take into consideration the unique nature of the fascial system.  The problem with this approach is that it perpetuates the cycle of adhesion formation.  Damage the tissues, as the tissues heal adhesions develop, damage the tissues with surgery to remove adhesions, and as the tissues heal more adhesions develop and the same or worse symptoms recur.

Fifty-five to one hundred percent of all people who undergo any type of surgical procedure develop adhesions.  However, adhesions may also form in response to injury, repetitive stress, infection, chemotherapy, radiation, cancer, endometriosis, colitis, or poor posture.  An injury to the tissues from any cause may result in the formation of adhesions.

Some adhesions may be microscopic and invisible to the human eye, creating to discernable problems. Other adhesions may become so large they cause blockages in the fallopian tubes or the bowel.  Adhesions may occur in any area of the body and cause a wide range of discomfort or dysfunction.

Most people describe pain from adhesions as "pulling" or "stabbing".  It may be relatively minor or debilitating.  Adhesions may also cause other physical symptoms such as nausea, constipation, infertility, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, dizziness, and restricted movements, such as the inability to raise an arm, bend a leg, or twist the torso.  Adhesions also restrict blood flow and if they attach to a nerve may cause pain in areas of the body far removed from the original site of the injury.

Manual therapy techniques, such as those used in Myofascial Release and CranioSacral Therapy are very effective for releasing adhesions and restrictions.  They also relieve the pain and other symptoms.  The methods are very gentle and break the cycle of adhesion formation.

We at Windsong Therapy and Wellness are highly trained in treating adhesions to relieve pain and dysfunction.  Our goal is to balance the body, improve function and therefore, improve the patient's quality of life.

View Case Studies about Adhesions


This website last updated on 31 July 2010

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