Hanging From a Pull-Up Bar Helped Me Release Post-Mastectomy Scar Tissue


After undergoing a partial mastectomy, scar tissue caused pain and stiffness. Then, I found a simple exercise that helped immensely.

As a 20-year breast cancer survivor, I have always had scar tissue from my partial mastectomy. I learned during massage therapy school that if you get the scar tissue worked on within the first two years of its formation, you tend to have fewer problems. Unfortunately, I didn’t get help with my scar tissue until three or four years later when I was introduced to a wonderful massage therapist.

Scar tissue forms when the body repairs damaged tissues, including muscle, tendons and ligaments. This new tissue is often thicker and less flexible, which can limit the range of motion and cause discomfort during movement. For me, the scar tissue in my right pectoral muscles and armpit often caused pain and stiffness, which interfered with my healing and everyday life.

While working out one day, I stumbled upon a surprising solution: hanging from a pull-up bar. My back and shoulders were bothering me one day and I reached up and grabbed the bar and just hung for a few seconds and felt immediate relief. I then began hanging regularly and started recommending it to all my cancer massage clients.

Hanging involves gripping onto a horizontal bar with your hands and allowing your body to hang freely. It might sound simple, but it requires a considerable amount of strength and flexibility. Hanging stretches the muscles and joints of the upper body, which can help release scar tissue and reduce inflammation. Moreover, hanging provides a decompressive force that elongates the spine and increases the space between vertebrae, which can alleviate pressure on nerves and reduce pain.

I started by hanging for a few seconds at a time with my feet on the ground and gradually increased the duration as my strength improved and I could hang without touching the ground. Initially, the pressure on my shoulder was uncomfortable, but as my muscles relaxed, the pain subsided. After a few weeks, I noticed a significant improvement in my shoulder's mobility and a reduction in stiffness. I could finally lift my arm without discomfort, and my scar tissue remained soft.

Hanging is a low-impact exercise that has numerous benefits. Apart from releasing scar tissue and reducing inflammation, I learned that hanging can also improve grip strength, increase shoulder stability and enhance posture. Moreover, hanging can be done anywhere with a sturdy horizontal bar, and it requires no special training.

This simple exercise has been a game-changer for me. It has helped me release scar tissue, reduce pain and stiffness and improve my overall mobility. If you’re dealing with scar tissue or chronic pain, I highly recommend giving hanging a try. However, it’s essential to start slowly and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any pre-existing conditions or injuries. Happy hanging!

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