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An adhesion is an abnormal area of dense collagen fibers caused by adhesions, which are dense collections of scar tissue that form when muscles and connective tissues are injured. When the scar tissue binds between your muscles, it limits flexibility, causing pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
Sometimes adhesions can also entrap nerves. The manipulation of the soft tissues through massage breaks up the adhesions so your muscles, joints, and nerves can move freely again.
Adhesion can be caused by repetitively typing on a computer all day in a slumped posture, driving your car in traffic multiple times per week, lifting weights regularly without properly stretching afterwards and more life events which can wreck havoc to the muscles of the body. They can also be caused by an injury to a specific area, such as a bad pull or strain to an ankle or hamstring. Runners have constant pounding to the leg muscles, which can result in tension in the hips and IT Band. Tennis players abuse their forearm, especially during backhand movements and can trigger adhesion formation and result in tennis elbow symptoms.
Stretching and exercise are not very effective for removing muscular adhesions. Foam Rollers and therapy balls will help for a short amount of time, but adhesions affect structures at a deep level, hence they need deep treatment.
Adhesion have been known to be the root of many common problems like low back or neck pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, and even headaches!
Muscles with adhesions present in them have to work harder which can lead to them to being overworked. Instead of the muscles absorbing most of your day to day activities, the body transfers the load into the cartilage, bones, and joints instead. This begins a very bad cycle of chronic pain. The sooner you are assessed for where your muscular tension lies, how it’s affecting other structures of your body, and where adhesions could be present (moving your body into detrimental movement patterns and postures), the better.