Archive for February 14th, 2011

Scarred for Life

on February 14, 2011 in Misc 6 Comments »

Oh crap.

The ligament at the top of my left thigh is hurting again.

I just want this sucker to HEAL.    I want it to stop making painful twinges when I walk, sit down, exercise, stretch – hell, when I  MOVE my leg.

You know, this is a recurring problem for us physically active, wannabe action heroes:   REPEAT INJURIES and PAIN!

On Thursday I went to see my chiropractor.   It was my second visit in only a month and for the same problem – my right thigh was hurting and so was the ligament in my left leg.   I knew from experience what this meant:  my coccyx (a.k.a. tailbone) was once again out of whack.   In only a couple minutes the guy put it back in whack.   The pain vanished.   But now the ligament seems to be acting up on its lonesome.

WHY OH WHY, I wailed to the good doc, does my body keep breaking down in the same spot?  It’s because you’re over thirty-five, he explained.  When people in their teens or twenties have soft tissue injuries in, say, muscles or tendon or that ligament at the top of my thigh, the healing process is rapid.  Soft tissue will heal pretty much in the same pattern as the tissue and will still be able to stretch and move in the same direction. But when you’re older, healed soft tissue is scar tissue that looks like a plate of spaghetti – it’s a mess, which makes the area vulnerable to repeat injuries and it also now has lots of nerve endings, which makes the area more sensitive.

Granted, I’m only sloppily quoting my chiropractor.  But you get the idea.  If you have a weak or injured point in your body (and what action hero doesn’t?), as you get older that special little twinge can become a big pain.  So I looked up this whole scar tissue issue.  Here are a few facts:

  • Scar tissue is made from a tough, inflexible fibrous material that binds itself to the damaged soft tissue fibers in an effort to draw the damaged fibers back together.   This can result in a bulky mass of fibrous scar tissue that surrounds the injury site.
  • When scar tissue forms around an injury site, it is never as strong as the tissue it replaces.
  • It also can contract and deform the surrounding tissues; this diminishes the strength of the tissue and compromises its flexibility.
  • Untreated scar tissue is the major cause of re-injury.

Okay, now for some kinda good news:  apparently you can get rid of at least some scar tissue with treatments like a deep tissue sports massage.    I had something like that several years ago, and WOW did it hurt!   But I was better.    So maybe in the coming weeks when I can afford it I’ll book a session with some sports body sadist expert.

I let you know how it goes.   In the meantime, may your own body behave itself.