Exercises to increase flexibility of the scar tissue after surgery

The purpose of the exercises are to decrease pain, tension and swelling , increase mobility, and better blood circulation.

Several layers of skin are cut through during surgery. These layers grow together again when the wound heals. Each layer consists of many fibers. After surgery, they are mangled. You can aid in the healing of the fibers using exercises so that the scar tissue will not become rigid. You can do the exercises when the scabs have fallen off and the wound is completely closed.

Why do exercises?

The exercises can provide:

  • Better mobility of the scar tissue.
  • Less tension and swelling in the operated area.
  • Less pain.
  • Better blood circulation and conduction of nerve signals.

How to do the exercises?

Do the exercises on dry skin without lotion. For the first 2-3 months, until the scar is completely healed, it is important that you are cautious not to pull perpendicular to the scar, tearing the sides apart from each other. Do the exercises 1-2 times daily and continue until the scar is flexible and does not cause discomfort anymore.

Exercise 1:
Place your fingers on each side of the scar and push it from side to side like a ”Z”. 10 repetitions for 5 seconds duration
Exercise 2:
Place 2 fingers on the scar and pull apart in the longitudinal direction of the scar tissue. 10 repetitions for 5 seconds duration.
Exercise 3:
Press a finger into the tissue and move the skin clockwise and counterclockwise 10 times. Work down the length of the scar.

Exercise 4:
Gently lead a soft nail brush over the scar and the area around it. Pass over the area 20 times.

Good Advice

Stretching

Move the skin area around the scar each day using the exercises that you have been instructed in by your physical therapist.

Beware of the sun

Cover your scar with a bandage or a high factor sunscreen for the first year after operation to protect the delicate skin of the scar.

Lotion

It is a good idea to lubricate the scar with a high fat lotion after you have done the exercises or after you have showered.

Taping and band aid

You can apply elastic tape in a zig-zag-pattern over the scar to achieve a stretch in the tissue.
There are different types of band aids for scar tissue. Ask at the pharmacy.

If you need further treatment

If your need further treatment, please contact the physical therapists in your municipality or your general practitioner.

Caution!

If the scar becomes warm, red, and swollen it may be an indication of infection. In that case, you must contact your general practitioner or call 1813.

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