top of page

How Can a C-Section Scar Give You Back Pain

Call me a softie, but I admire babies. And not because they are cute and cuddly - I then tend to think of 4 years of sleepless nights our youngster inflicted on us, and shudder - but mainly for their amazing focus on building their strength. How they go from helplessly flailing about on their backs to walking upright in just one year is incredible. Perfect little human beings, with a bit of luck.

And then for some of us, things end up going a bit wrong and we are thrown off course as we age, and we end up with pain in this, ache in that...

Where does it go wrong?

All the clues are scattered in our health history. Injuries, accidents, surgeries, traumatic events that life throws at us, long term habits, stress... They all have a bearing. It all takes us away from that initial perfection we had been (hopefully) born with.

Today, let's look at surgeries. Specifically at the scars we are left with. Who here has had abdominal surgery - appendix removed, perhaps, or a C-section?

Again, with a bit of luck, the scars has healed very nicely. You are safe and well, the issue had been treated, the baby delivered safely, all happy now. End of story?

But, who of my readers here might have persistent hip tension or back pain that came on after the surgery took place...?

The thing is, scars are just that: a repaired tear in the fabric of our tissues - skin, and the underlying connective tissues called fascia. For proper functioning of our body, all the signals that travel from our brain to the muscles should go uninterrupted. Every movement of the body needs to be accompanied by a smooth stretch or shift of surrounding tissues. If we have an interruption in the form of a scar, the pull of the tissues across the body is not the same. It is altered. There is a snag.

The best example is adhesions, of course, where connective tissues form adhesions which anchor them down in new and unexpected ways, stopping the glide.

But there are simpler forms too, like a "simple" loss of stretch.

The body does not enjoy that. It alters the mechanics of movement. It annoys the nervous system, too. The scar can become neurologically active, acting as a noxious stimulus to the brain and changing the way muscles are activated.

Yes, that is correct - causing problems in the way muscles are "switched on and off".

C sections have a tendency to disrupt the way deep abdominal muscles work, There are many points at which "snagging" can potentially occur. If deep tummy muscles stop working as nature intended, we very often have compensatory back pain, pelvic floor issues, or hip tightness. This is because tummy muscles have deep anatomical connections into... guess what? ... deep back muscles, pelvic floor, or hip flexor muscles.

Essentially, if tummy muscles no longer operate as smoothly as before, they are not going to do this clever thing called force transmission into other tissues they are connected to.

In other words, if you have two connecting stretchy pieces of string, if one piece of string goes too slack or too taut (tummy muscles), it is not going to exert the same influence on the other connected piece of string (hip flexors, or pelvic floor, or tissues of the lower back.

Over time, those other connected tissues become less functional themselves, and pain can come in longer term.

And that is why we move another step

further away from being perfectly functional discomfort free human beings. And end up with back pain, for instance, just because we have had a C-section or our appendix removed a few years ago.

Next time - what can we do about that?

To your health,



bottom of page