If you think tissue scraping sounds like something incredibly painful, well you’d be correct in that assumption.

However, tissue scraping can be an effective form of therapy if you are dealing with any sort of soft tissue injury. Most soft tissue injuries are caused by overuse, which makes them very common in athletes, but they can also be caused by trauma. Soft tissue includes fascia, tendons, muscles, and ligaments and you can experience chronic pain in multiple areas when you are dealing with a soft tissue injury. Signs that you are dealing with a soft tissue injury include swelling, general pain, stiffness that tends to be worse in the morning, or bruises. 

Ideally, you want to make sure you avoid these injuries by stretching properly, foam rolling, and using other preventative methods. Unfortunately, most people end up with an injury before they take the time to ensure they are following best practices with these preventative measures. When a soft tissue injury occurs, you end up with what’s called adhesions. Adhesions are a build-up of scar tissue that ends up woven through and around the soft tissue that’s damaged and is generally the source of the pain you experience. That’s where tissue scraping comes in. 

Tissues scraping is used as a way to break up the adhesions that have formed as a result of your injury and allow the soft tissue the ability to reform in its natural state.

Physical therapists will use a metal tool that will be used to scrape back and forth across the affected area and other areas that are causing issues. This method can help get the range of motion back in the affected area, reduce pain and possibly eliminate it completely, and reduce the swelling in the area. 

Generally, tissue scraping can be used as the last line of intervention if other methods haven’t helped you heal from whatever soft tissue injury you are dealing with. Some people have issues so severe that they are considering surgery without trying tissue scraping first. Make sure if you are dealing with a severe and debilitating injury that you consult a trained professional and explore all of your options to help avoid going under the knife. Tissue scraping could be just what you need to get back to feeling normal again.