Scar Tissue?

Is there any way to tell if you have any scar tissue anywhere on without a chiro or therapist. I injured my hamstring in 2000, and believe it or not it’s still a nagging injury. I’ve been able to race and workout, but every once and a while(3) it flares up and I have to take a little while off. It’s never been anything major. The first time I injured it was the only major time. I could barely walk. But every other time it was just sore. Might be tendinitis?

But i’ve noticed on the leg that I injured, when I stretch, it makes some poppin sounds. And it’s not the bone or joints. It’s sounds like my muscles are popping. Almost like they were stuck together or something. It doesn’t hurt or anything, but it’s odd that it just happens to be the leg that always get hurt. I’ve had people stretch me before and they almost wet themselves when they here the sound my leg makes. Cuz they always think something bad happened.

So whats the prognosis. Does this sound familiar? What the hell is wrong with my leg. Is this a common symptom of scar tissue or is this something new? :confused:

MRI is one way (probably the easiest, depending on who is reading it), any others?

Treble - my advice is - take the $$$ hit - and see a good therapist - anything else is speculation…


  Muscular injuries always heal with scaring, as damaged muscle cells cannot be replaced. So you will definetely have scar tissue if your hamstring injury was a tear. Scar tissue cannot be removed but with the help of cross friction (a massage technique) the fibres of the scar tissue can be aligned so that they run in the same direction as the muscle fibres. This is done by breaking down the fibres running perpendicular to the mucle.

Where in you muscles does the popping sound arise? Can you feel it when it “pops”? It might just the muscles or muscle fibres of your hamstring flipping over each other, which might be a result of scarring or simply tighness. Many people produce clicking sounds in their tight hip flexors for example, which they usually mistake for hip joint problems.


Robin, the popping is happening right above the tendon on the outside part of the knee. You know the one that you can grab if you put your hand on the side of your knee. It happens obove that tendon and slightly to the inside. If you were standing next to me, you would hear it clearly. It’s not something subtle. If you didn’t know about it, you’d probably be startled if you were sitting next to me. I thought it was the muscles moving over each other as well, but it happens after I run as well sometimes. I can sorta feel it but it’s usually just the sound. And it’s only in that one leg that I injured. When I originally injured it, it wasn’t a serious tear, but i’m pretty sure there was a slight tear. Cuz I was out for a few months. But I never recieved any treatment for it. I’m goin to get that ART treatment sometime this week. I found one in my area. So i’m hoping they can at least get if back to normal. Cuz everytime I do some hard acceleration I reaggravate the injury no matter how long I take off. I can do any other workout but as soon as I try to accelerate, I get a cramp in that leg. And i’m gettin to the point where my form is startin to change ever so slightly, cuz I sometimes worry about hurtin it. So i’ll unconciously alter my stride pattern a little. Now i’m starting to notice some other little tweaks. :frowning: shakin my head…

I could have broken all the sprint records by now. lol

Systemic proteolytic enzymes like serrapeptase, nattokinase, bromelain, papain and rutin can help to dissolve some of the scarring. Make sure to take them on an empty stomach about 1hr before food.

mick, could you share more information about these systemic proteolytic enzymes and how they dissolve scar tissue?


The area you are describing is where the tendons of three muscles (sartorious, gracillus and semitendinosis) are coming together to form the pes anserine tendon by which they all insert into the medial aspect of the knee. Was it in this area that your injury occured? Two of the three tendons might just be flipping over each other here, which could be caused by scar tissue in the area. If the injury was somewhere else in the hamstring the flipping and popping of these tendons could result from tightness of one of these three muscles.

You should get some cross friction done on this scar tissue as well as stretch, strengthen and release your hamstrings and possibly adductors.

Your ART practitioner should be able to help you with these things.


Talk about tough luck. The person who performs the ART treatmeant that I was going to have treat me, decided to quit a week before I came in for a visit. And of she was the only one in the place that knew how to give an ART treatment. She didn’t quit the field, she just moved her practice to a different location which is conviently hella farther than where it was before. So now instead of makin progress to get the problem fixed, I have to wait til I find another place that provides the service.

One of the guys workin at the place I went to said that he could perform a procedure called percussion. Which would break up the scar tissue in one session, and it’s a lot more comfortable. I’m pretty sure it’s a lot more expensive as well. But right now i’m lookin for the easy way out, lol. I want to get the problem fixed as soon as possible so I can stop training so passively during speed workouts.

Scar tissue won’t come out in one tx. ART works very well. High resolution ultra sound is a very useful diagnostic tool for muscle injuries and is far cheaper than an MRI. Also enzymes are the most effective at the time of injury, though they may still help in general (the emzymes speed up the roll-over of amino acids in the muscles and help with the breakdown and utilization of proteins in food)


 I don't know what this guy's understanding of percussion is, but as  a massage technique it is not effective in breaking down scar tissue, because it does not reach down to the deeper tissues. Percussion is when you hit the tissue very quickly with alternating hands like in a roll of drums.

Any physio and any chiro who does soft tissue techniques should be able to help you with your problem. ART is just one technique that some people found useful but it is not the only thing that does the job.

Furthermore, not only ART practitioners do ART. I’m studying chiro for example, and we learn ART techniques as well.


So Charlie, you’re sayin that the enzymes wouldn’t be as effective if taken after the injury has healed? Cuz I haven’t really re-injured the leg in a while. I’ve cramped up in that leg, but i’ve never actually hurt it seriously again. So would the enzymes be as useful if at all to an area already occupied by scar tissue if at all?

Robin, the way he described it, he as talkin about some sort of machine. He said when it’s performed, you’ll feel the vibration on the other side of your body, where ever it’s being applied. For example, he said if he used the “thing” on my let shoulder, I would feel it in my right shoulder. He never mentioned anything about using his hands to do it. He said that it is more comfortable than the ART treatment, and it’s a lot quicker as well. He mentioned that in the ART treatment I might have to wait as long as an hour just get my muscles to relax so that the deeper tissue can be reach. He said that the percussion treatment doesn’t involve any of that.

I think i’m gonna just go to the nearest chiro(soft tissue) and have them work it out.

Wait an hour for ART to get in there? This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about. get some ART

No cross fiber friction Charlie?

Cross-fibre friction works as well

I’m starting to believe that myself.

Would graston work just as well as ART?

I guess it would depend on how superficial the injury is and how low (towards the tendon area). I’ve had only limited exposure to the Graston bars but they definitely can have a role in some injury/tightness situations. The practitioner needs to have a sensitive touch as they are major force multipliers.

Even though the session are like 10mins long my friend swears by the graston bars.

It seems to take forever to get the area (hamstring) loose, I dont feel decent until the last sprint or two during workouts and for prelims I feel there’s no way Im gonna race and then come finals it actually feels decent. It seems to be more a scar tissue thing then a pulled muscle because I don’t understand how I can run Pr’s with a pull hamstring.

Cross fiber friction massage for scar tissue:

Anyone know what are some finger/hand/thumb positions are? Youtube videos showed two fingers together. I did some work on my wife and it seemed for thigh, hamstring and ITB, the thumbs were best.

Literature on most sites seems vague. Any one have experience on length of sessions? weekly frequency?