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Ponderer983's avatar

Has anyone tried acupuncture for breaking up scar tissue?

Asked by Ponderer983 (6396 points ) May 1st, 2012

I was searching the ‘net for non-invasive ways to break up scar tissue from a surgery that I had done on a joint. I have not gotten back the mobility I would like with physical therapy, and I read that acupuncture can be used to break up scar tissue. The surgery was 2 years ago.

Has anyone had acupuncture for something similar? Could there be a downside to trying it and seeing what happens (ie risks, side effects, etc.) What are your experiences in general with acupuncture? I have never gone and am skeptical, though some people I know do like it.

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9 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I don’t know how it would effect scar tissue. I used it for 6 months for a shoulder injury that flared up. I had a pin put in my left shoulder some years ago after a bad horse accident that severely dislocated my shoulder.
I LOVED it!

I utilized the electrical impulses as well and along with the basic accupuncture and some accupressure I walked out of the sessions on cloud nine. The therapist said I had a high tolerance for the electrical impulses into the muscles, I kept telling her to ramp up the voltage. It was bliss to the 10th power. lol

I wonder, were you negligent in doing your physical therapy exercises after the surgery?
I was, and while I have okay range I know it could have been better had I been more diligent.
I’d call around and ask some therapists about scar tissue.
If nothing else it WILL stimulate your muscles, reduce pain and leave you feeling amazing!

Coloma's avatar

The only side effects are being too blissed out to want to drive home. haha
Otherwise, no risks that I am aware of.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Like @Coloma, I resorted to acupuncture after an accident tore stuff around a shoulder. I’d already been on several types of pain killers, muscle relaxers and even cortisone shots. In constant pain, frustration and under threat of job loss for my pill abuse, I tried and then fell in love with acupuncture.

I believe it relaxed the area enough for the tissue to become more flexible and over time, strengthen some. I don’t believe it destroys scar tissue though, maybe makes it more malleable. It took weekly visits at first for a few months then a few times a month and a decade later, maybe once or twice a year for a “tune up”.

Acupuncture is non invasive, non chemical and relatively inexpensive compared to physical therapy, massage and prescription pills. For me it was definitely worth a try.

Ponderer983's avatar

@Coloma I am not in pain, unlike @Neizvestnava, just some discomfort from time to time when it bothers me. It’s really the mobility I have not gained back that bothers me. I try to stretch it out, and while it temporarily gives me some more movement, it tightens back up in a few hours. This is where I first read about using acupuncture, then did a little more digging around about it. Could I have done more at home while recovering…of course. I think that’s most people. I was only guaranteed to get back to 80% – 90% of range and strength (It was a very bad bone break and dislocation with plates and screws).

BTW – does insurance cover any of this? I would have to call I guess huh? I do have pretty good insurance though.

Do the needles hurt? I’m not scared of needles, and after breaking the bone, have garnered a pretty good pain tolerance.

King_Pariah's avatar

I’m definitely going to have to take a look into acupuncture with some of the scar tissue I have, Great Question and Great Answers!

Coloma's avatar

@Ponderer983 No, you can’t even feel the needles, they are hair thin and not inserted deeply. Definitely try the electrical impulses too. I think you might really feel some benefit. I don’t know about your insurance, I paid out of pocket as accupuncture is usually considered alternative medicine, but, this was 6 years ago, maybe that has changed.

It is well worth a try. They may also prescribe some chinese herbs, dependent on your overall condition. I was under a lot of stress at the time too and so was given some immune system enhancing herbs and a few other things. I felt GREAT!
Don’t scoff, chinese medicine has some very real merits. :-)

Nimis's avatar

I don’t question the merits of acupuncture itself. Though it’s not something to take lightly. (It’s cheap, non-invasive. Sure, let’s try it.)

My friend’s father died of septic shock from acupuncture needles. I would take the time to do the research and find a reputable practitioner.

Coloma's avatar

@Nimis Well, there is always the possibility of some bizarre situation arising with anything. People have died from getting infections from manicures and pedicures too. People have died from contracting infections from hot tubs and I use my hot tub daily and have for years.
The 3rd leading cause of death after cancer and heart disease is MEDICAL treatment. lol
I wouldn’t let one highly unusual situation taint the profession.

john65pennington's avatar

If someone truly has dealt with a safe medthod of dealing with scar tissue, pls let me know. After four back surgeries, I have scar tissue spreading from the lower right spinal muscles and into my spine. Everyday is hell and I am looking for positive, safe treatment to put my life back on track.

Pls advise. jp

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