Can Scar Tissue Cause Pain?

Author: Staff Writers
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Often referred to as "adhesions", scar tissue can definitely cause pain.

What Is Scar Tissue? 

Scar tissue often forms as the body attempts to heal itself after injury or surgery. This process is the body's natural response to trauma. Because scar tissue does not contain nerve endings, the adhesion itself is generally not painful, but these adhesions often create pain and other problems.

Where Does Scar Tissue Form? 

Scar tissue can form in any part of the body that has been traumatized. Adhesions frequently involve the female reproductive system and are the source of pain for many women. In addition to pain, scar tissue may cause some women to suffer from infertility, painful intercourse, and blockage of the bowel.

According to the National Institute of Health, when repeated injuries cause the back to develop scar tissue, the back may weaken, leading to more serious injuries.

Treatment for Scar Tissue

Unfortunately, there is little effective treatment for scar tissue. Since scar tissue usually forms as the result of surgery, additional surgery to remove it is often counterproductive. Unless the scar tissue is the cause of a major health problem, such as a bowel blockage, surgery to remove it is generally not indicated. In some cases, less invasive laparoscopic surgery may be a viable option. Since laparoscopic surgery requires a smaller incision than more invasive surgery, there is less opportunity for new adhesions to form. Various non-surgical treatments are available and offer some relief for pain caused by scar tissue.

Some of these treatments may include medications and exercise.


Works Cited

Iowa Department of Transportation
"Iowa's Guildelines for Granting Medical Exemptions for Safety Belt Usage."

National Center for Biotechnology Information
The Problem of the Painful Scar

Expert Opinion 

Quote: "Available now are any number of topical applications which can be applied to scars, after the tapes are removed, to try to minimize scarring. These include topical and systemic Vitamin E preparations, silicone gel topical creams or sheeting (expensive), proprietary over the counter preparations such as Scar Fade, Mederma, ScarGo, ScarEase, Dimisil, etc. These contain various natural extracts and seem to be effective in some patients, and not at all in others. "

Source: Michael M Brownstein M.D., FACS 

Quote: "Keloids and hypertrophic scars do not usually cause symptoms, but they may be tender, painful, or pruritic or they may cause a burning sensation. In addition to symptomatic relief, cosmetic concern is the primary reason patients seek medical intervention."

Source:Brian Berman, MD, PhD,
Professor, Departments of Dermatology and Internal Medicine
University of Miami School of Medicine

purple arrowCite this Article

"Can Scar Tissue Cause Pain?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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