Are Internal Scars The Root Cause Of Chronic Pain?


9 Min Read

When you undergo a surgery, or experience an injury, the body creates tiny strands of collagen called adhesions or internal scars. These cause small, powerful fibers to cover and isolate injured tissues. The body has no way to dissolve them and can remain even after healing. Over time, they can form layers that cause pain and cannot be detected in X-Ray, MRI or CAT scans.

Truth be told, I have had a mild scoliosis all my life. I have relied heavily on chiropractic care for over thirty years to relieve my subluxations and occasional aches and pains, especially after long stints on the computer when writing my books.

How It All Started

I have always had a very positive experience with chiropractors. In 2014, when I visited a new chiropractor who specialized in releasing soft tissue, I was not at all prepared for what ensued.

Several weeks after the treatment, I began to experience what I thought was neurological pain or some type of neuropathy. My entire right calf and right foot felt like pins and needles, with strange pulling and occasional pulsating sensations I had never experienced before in my 50 plus years on the planet!

The new chiropractor I saw had used the Graston Technique, a therapy which uses an instrument to assist soft tissue mobilization and treat scar tissue. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand how such a seemingly benign treatment could have resulted in such strange sensations, although I was black and blue for a good two weeks after the treatment, which I was told was “normal.”

My Treatment With Ozone

Being as alternatively orientated as I am, I found a “chiropractor neurologist” in my area who thoroughly examined my leg and told me that the nerve pain I was experiencing was most likely caused from a Baker’s cyst, which he palpated at the back of my knee.

He told me that he frequently treated these Baker cysts with ozone. This was a substance I was intimately familiar with, having used it intravenously for detoxification and blood purification.

So, rather than getting a second opinion or an X-ray to confirm this new chiropractor’s findings, I happily agreed to have the ozone inserted into the area near my knee to address the cyst which I was told was impinging on the nerve path down the leg. I had such high hopes!

But, that was my big mistake.

After The Ozone Therapy

After the shot, I felt like my knee was exploding – the pain and strange sensations really increased and I felt as if I had a very severe Charley Horse. I was told that, it was natural and it would dissipate within a few days.

Well, the pain never dissipated. In fact, it got much worse. After several months, my cortisol levels were through the roof and for the first time ever I had a roll of belly fat.

I started getting used to having a stiff leg with shooting pains all the way up to the thigh. But, according to the experts, pain doesn’t move up, it only moves down. I couldn’t understand why ozone, which is healing in so many instances, could have triggered such a negative response.

As time went on, my whole body began compensating for the pain in my right leg. My left side became stiff and my hyper-mobile joints felt like they were becoming arthritic. Apparently, pain can do this to you.

Taking Health Into My Own Hands

Eventually, I started a course of physical therapy and tried stem cells, acupuncture, spinal decompression, pulse EMF treatment, ultrasound, electrophoresis, anodyne lights (infrared), cold laser, low powered hot laser, and electro-stimulation therapy.

I even doubled up on natural anti-inflammatories like curcumin, boswellia, Omega 3s and Omega 7s, as well as essential oils and homeopathics designed to relieve pain. They, however, did absolutely nothing to alleviate my pain.

Last summer, I ventured to Los Angeles where I underwent two weeks of specialized laser therapy with unique lasers from France and Italy that were not found in any other clinic in the country. The treatments were not only exceedingly expensive, but they did not help either.

After consulting with a myriad of health practitioners, from the most highly-trained chiropractors, to physical therapists, to conventional pain doctors, to anesthesiologists and massage therapists, I decided to take my health into my own hands, as I have done so many times before.

I underwent a battery of tests, including a complete ultrasound and MRI of my entire leg, knees and lower back. None of the results showed any issue that could have explained my escalating pain, which over months had increased to a burning and tightening sensation.

I was told I would simply have to learn to live with the pain. That, of course, was totally unacceptable.

Taking The Mystery Out Of Chronic Pain

As luck would have it, after telling a close friend of mine about my mysterious pains, she offhandedly mentioned a clinic which specialized in my type of intractable pain. I traveled to Florida with hopes of obtaining some modicum of relief and figuring out the true cause of my condition which nobody in the traditional or alternative medical worlds could explain.

I wasn’t disappointed.

Within two days of the most comprehensive assessment I have ever undergone, I discovered that my pain was due to severely restricted fascia and hidden macro and micro adhesions. The therapists explained that my structural impairments were most likely due to early car accidents, sprained ankles, poor posture, years of computer use, and falls that I had undergone throughout my life.

The ozone shot apparently created a whole layer of “frozen” tissue; probably from the trauma of the ozone gas being shot into the side of my leg. It was about eight inches long, they said!

I was cared for in one of the most healing environments in all of my 30 plus years of work in the healing arts. During my treatment, I learned so much about the “missing link” in chronic pain therapy that I just had to share it with you.

Internal Scars In Our Body

The simple truth is that, the body records every type of physical (and emotional) trauma even long after we have forgotten. Whenever we experience a surgery (even dental surgery), an accident, an injury, infection or inflammation, the body creates internal scars called adhesions as the first step in the healing process. Composed of tiny strands of collagen (like the strands of a nylon rope), adhesions are basically internal scars.

As they form, small but powerful fibers rush in and lay down over injured tissues to help isolate the tissues that have been injured. After the body heals, these internal bonds remain within us, a permanent by-product of our earlier healing event. Soon our bodies have healed and we go about our lives.

What we don’t realize is that, adhesions which have been measured with a tensile strength at close to 2,000 pounds per square inch remain in the body after healing, for a lifetime. Over time, they can form one upon another, acting like a straight-jacket in the areas of the body where they formed.

Later in life, as we start to develop chronic pain, we go to the doctor and ask “Why do I hurt here?” or “Why am I having unusual symptoms or problems?” The physician may send us for a diagnostic test – an MRI, CT scan or ultrasound. “There’s nothing there,” our doctor says. “Certainly there’s nothing I can see. Let’s send you to another specialist.”

So, we may go from specialist to specialist, looking for answers to the mystery pain or dysfunctions that the doctors cannot see. At some point, a doctor may say “it must be in your head; maybe you should consult a psychiatrist.”

The main problem is that being composed of collagen fibers, adhesions do not appear on any diagnostic test. That’s right, they can’t be seen by X rays, MRIs, ultrasounds or CAT scans!

Physical therapist Belinda Wurn along with her husband, massage therapist Larry Wurn, have been studying non-surgical methods to decrease adhesions in the late 1980s. They learned that as far as medicine was concerned, adhesions could only be treated with surgery.

The problem was that virtually all surgeries cause more adhesions to form, as the body heals from the adhesions laid down from the damage caused by cutting or burning live tissues. Feeling that there had to be a better way, the Wurns resolved to find or develop a way to treat chronic pain in whatever non-surgical way they could.

They learned that the adhesions that formed years or decades ago from earlier surgeries or traumas were not really necessary anymore, but the body has no way to dissolve them. Collagen is so common in the body that adhesions do not show up on diagnostic tests and cannot be dissolved by any bodily mechanism. They found that adhesions can be pulled apart using a very site-specific therapy, like pulling apart the run in a sweater.

Final Words

If the basic underlying theme of my story sounds all too familiar, think back through your own history. Have you had some sort of a trauma that resulted in your body healing itself in a way that created adhesions? You too can release your internal straight-jackets once and for all and learn how to prevent them from reoccurring in the future.

Right now, I am still in recovery. I now stand at my desk – no more sitting for me – and have some gentle stretches to do. I have located some highly trained massage therapists who specialize in myofascial release. I am taking several supplements which address soft tissue injury.

I take my Epsom salt baths three times per week and use a tennis ball to roll out the remaining kinks in my feet. I do not wear my orthotics anymore because I was told my seemingly high arches were really the result of adhesion in my soles which were pulling my feet out of alignment.

Ann Louise Gittleman

Top nutritionist, visionary health expert and bestselling author, Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, has always been a trendsetter. Continually breaking new ground in traditional and holistic health, she is internationally recognized as a pioneer in dietary, environmental, and women's health issues and is known as "The First Lady of Nutrition" among her millions of followers worldwide.

Ann Louise Gittleman

Top nutritionist, visionary health expert and bestselling author, Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, has always been a trendsetter. Continually breaking new ground in traditional and holistic health, she is internationally recognized as a pioneer in dietary, environmental, and women's health issues and is known as "The First Lady of Nutrition" among her millions of followers worldwide.