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Abdominal and Pelvic Adhesions: Post-surgical Adhesions

Adhesions, the internal scars that tend to form whenever the body heals, are a major problem for patients and their physicians. Adhesions that form in the abdomen and pelvis are generally caused by surgery; other common causes include trauma (accidents), infection and endometriosis.

While these internal scars initially formed to help us heal from tissue damage, adhesions tend to remain long after the initial tissue damage has passed. Once formed, adhesions can remain like a straitjacket around delicate organs, squeezing them tightly or binding them to one another. When this occurs, the delicate organs of the abdomen and pelvis can lose their normal function. Having lost the flexibility to expand and contract normally, these organs and the associated nerves become bound by a glue-like structure, often causing pain.

abdominal and pelvic adhesions before and after surgey

Above is an example of a patient’s abdomen before and after abdominal surgery. You can see adhesions forming around the delicate structures of the pelvis and abdomen.

When the patients go to their physician with complaints of pain or dysfunction, they are often surprised to hear the doctor say, “There’s nothing there,” or “I can’t see anything.” Your doctor may suggest “Let me refer you to a specialist.” Thus, the patient begins a frustrating quest for answers, relief, or even a diagnosis. The problem is that these internal bonds are made solely of collagen. Because collagen fibers cover every structural cell in the human body, these powerful internal bonds are undetectable to virtually all diagnostic tests such as X‑ray, MRI or CT scans.

While the patient may have an excellent sense of where the problem lies, their physician literally cannot see adhesions unless they do another surgery. Unfortunately, surgery is a primary cause of abdominopelvic adhesions. Thus the very surgery designed to identify, then burn or cut adhesions is also the primary cause of new adhesion formation. Adhesions create a major dilemma in modern medicine, as the surgery to decrease adhesions frequently causes new adhesions to form. Some doctors and patients note that “the cure can be as bad as or worse than the disease.”

The directors of Clear Passage Physical Therapy faced this quandary quite personally in 1984 when our director, physical therapist Belinda Wurn, learned that the debilitating pain she was experiencing in her pelvis was due to pelvic adhesions.

“You have a frozen pelvis; all of your organs and nerves are adhered in a mass of adhesions,” her physicians said. “Unfortunately, they are near your vagina. You don’t want us doing surgery there. It will only make matters worse. You will have to learn to live with the pain!” Finding this conclusion unacceptable, we began our very personal search to develop a nonsurgical treatment for the internal menace called adhesions.

If you are experiencing unexplained pain or dysfunction in your abdomen or pelvis, you owe it to yourself to learn more. This website can give you a significant amount of information and insight into the problems you are having.

Our therapists are experts in adhesion formation – and deformation. Since 1988, our focus has been to decrease and eliminate adhesions without surgery or drugs. If you apply for therapy, we will review your history, give you important information, and clear you for any contraindications to therapy. Together we will develop a sense of whether, and to what degree, these internal straitjackets may be the cause of your problem.

If you choose to come to therapy, we will work to decrease and eliminate the internal bonds that are causing your problems. Our goal is to return you to a life where your organs, muscles and nerves are free of these internal bonds.

How does Clear Passage work?

belinda wurn treating pelvic adhesions in a female patient

Belinda Wurn performing treatment on a patient.

Adhesions form when thousands of tiny strands of collagen, like the strands of a nylon rope, come rushing in to cover and isolate injured tissue. These strands attach to each other with a molecular, chemical bond. Type 2 adhesions have a tensile strength that is stronger than steel. It has been estimated at 2,000 pounds per square inch (140 kilo grams per square centimeter). When these tiny but powerful bonds form in the abdomen or pelvis, they pull the body forward in space. Trying to remain upright to see your computer screen or see where you are going, your back and neck muscles struggle valiantly against the powerful pull of these adhesions. Thus, as well as the pain or discomfort at the abdomen and pelvis, patients with abdominopelvic adhesions tend to develop pain at their back, neck and sometimes cranium (headaches, especially at the base of the skull).

The work we have developed over the last 30+ years addresses these adhesions at the source. Using manual therapy, we dissolve the chemical bonds that attach each collagen’s strand from its neighboring strands. Over the course of 20 hours, we are able restore our patients’ health to what it was before these adhesions formed.

Clear Passage is the only therapy with published studies in peer-reviewed medical journals showing success rates treating abdominal and pelvic adhesions non-surgically. We encourage you to talk to us before you undergo another surgery – a procedure that may help you in the short term, but statistically is likely to create additional adhesions and additional problems for you in the future.

If these symptoms sound like you, we encourage you to complete a medical history form so that we can review your history together. Your first step is to complete the short form below. To give us the full picture of your body and your goals, you may also complete and return a full medical history form. We look forward to healing you!