We all know someone who has low back pain or who has had abdominal surgery. Is there a connection between the two?
A study conducted in 2007 with 50 women revealed that their abdominal scars could have a significant impact on low back pain.
Following the experiment, it was proven that the women who had received osteopathic treatment with abdominal scar treatment saw more improvement with regard to the pain as well as enhanced low back mobility than those who received osteopathic treatment without scar treatment.
How is that possible?
Whether deep or superficial, scars affect several layers of tissue or fascia. They differ from surrounding tissue due to their hypertrophic or retractile nature, a brown, red or purple colour and the thickness of the skin. However, whether normal or pathological, scars will always create adhesions on or below the surface over time. An adhesion is an unnatural union of surfaces or organs due to inflammation or scarring. In the event of abdominal surgeries, the surgeon’s incisions cut through several layers of tissue. Therefore, the scarring process occurs on several levels, creating many opportunities for adhesions to form.
Just as all of the body’s structures are inter-related by fascia, if the fascia is harmed (by a scar and its adhesions), the regions involved become imbalanced. This occurs on every level—bones, muscles, ligaments, aponeuroses as well as with regard to the vascular, lymphatic and nervous systems and the internal organs. Therefore, in osteopathy, when we work on scars that have become embedded in the abdominal region, this will have an impact on the pain and mobility of the lower back. Osteopathic treatment is effective because it views the body as a whole.