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02 May 2013

Long-Lasting Effects of Abdominal Scars

This month, I would like to share some information regarding the long-lasting effects of abdominal surgery and abdominal scars!

Scar tissue is more serious of an issue than many people realize. Unfortunately, accessing a person’s organs, glands and spinal column is often only possible by going in through the abdominal wall. However, one should take into account the negative effects of scar tissue when making a decision to move forward with an operation.

With regards to abdominal surgery, patients frequently complain of deep pain around the stomach, not only throughout the weeks following the procedure, but 10, 20, and 30 years down the road. Why do you think this is?

The abdominal wall

The abdominal wall is an essential component of your core muscles, holding everything firmly in place to provide structural stability and prevent strain and injury. A stable core is an essential aspect of a balanced gait and maintaining proper posture.

This muscle group corresponds with the very simple to the most complex movements ever imagined. We are mesmerized by the delicate execution of well-trained athletes, dancers, martial artists, and gymnasts. These movements have everything to do with a stable, controlled core. We often do not take into consideration the sheer strength and stability necessary to perform some of these intricate movements.

Injuries or invasive procedures leave residual scar tissue which can hamper movement. Tightness and additional tissue buildup might also put pressure on certain vital organs and glands which the abdominal wall houses and protects.

Scar tissue near the spine

Structurally, your core is a key component in stabilizing the spinal column and protecting it from being injured. Very often, people who suffer from back pain near the spine are able to relieve it with core strengthening exercises. A strong core stabilizes your spinal column and promotes better posture. In the same way, scar tissue on or near the spine can cause tightness and immobility of the spinal column.

Transversus abdominis 

Each abdominal layer is designed to assist the core musculature with specific movements. The deepest layer is the transversus abdominis (or TVA).

Visualize the upper back and low back being two pieces of PVC pipe. The TVA is like the piece that secures them in the middle, assisting both pieces with rotation motions. Rotation without TVA stabilization is a sure way to get injured.

Without proper TVA activation, the body suffers from upper and lower body disconnect. It becomes unable to diffuse the force that comes from high impact. As you overcompensate for a weak core using other muscle groups, aches and pains are inevitable.

Lasting side effects

Taking all of that information into consideration, we can see why individuals suffer from long-lasting pain when they undergo an abdominal surgical procedure.

These are examples of some of the most common abdominal surgeries.

  • Appendectomy
  • C-section
  • Gallbladder removal
  • Intestinal removal/intervention
  • Hysterectomy
  • Tubal ligation
  • Vasectomy
  • Abdominal hernias
  • Lumbar spine surgery

When the four layers of the abdominal musculature get cut, the proper sequencing of stabilization becomes completely out of balance. The core engages 70 thousand milliseconds before any movement takes place. You could be prone to injury if there is improper activation.

The deep muscles in the lower back, pelvic floor and abdominal areas are all connected to the same nerve. A problem with any of those muscles can affect all the others.


Let’s talk about C-Sections for example. I have seen many females who have had cases where the scars cause problems with their lower back. This is due to the wrong sequence of muscle stabilization and the fact that they are not all activating properly. The tightness of scar tissue causes muscle strain, and other issues follow.


Scars can be treated through massage.

We use Wheat Germ Oil or Sesame Oil and apply it with medium pressure. It is applied for 2 minutes horizontally and 2 minutes vertically. Your skin absorbs these oils (which have a very high content of Vitamin E) and will help break down the scar tissue!

Stretching is also a way to help release the tightness in the abdominal wall. It is important to stay mobile through corrective stretches while treating scar tissue. You can also re-train your abdominal wall with a correct sequence of exercises that activate your core muscles.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions on this subject.

“Keep on moving”

Luis Ponce Sr.

(408) 778-5577

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