by Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM MS
From acute plantar fasciitis to a surgical incision or cut on the skin, scar tissue formation is a normal part of the healing response following any injury or surgery.
Whether you can see the scar or not, the healing process is the same and is one that if not controlled or managed can lead to movement restrictions and compensation.
The below article will review the process of scar formation and how systemic enzymes can play a role in managing this orchestrated process.
Fibrin is a protein that acts like a building block for scar tissue. It is one of the body’s first responders when injury occurs and plays a central role in the body’s healing and repair process.
Fibrin is an insoluble protein, which means it cannot dissolve away on its own once the healing process is complete. A group of enzymes work to break down the fibrin tissue in a process referred to as fibrinolysis.
When we are young and healthy, our bodies produce plenty of enzymes to break down the fibrin and absorb it back into our bodies, allowing the nerves, muscles and blood vessels surrounding the wound site to move freely and return their normal function.
When we get older, our bodies do not produce the same amount of systemic enzymes which may be required to break down scar tissue. This means fibrin and scar tissue can start to accumulate in the body, eventually leading to stiffness.
While aging does reduce the body’s enzyme levels, enzymes can still be replenished through supplements containing systemic enzymes.
In a recent blog article we referenced how some proteolytic enzyme supplements, specifically those containing serrapeptidase, are formulated to support the fibrinolysis process and re-organization of injured tissue.
One of the first steps in the healing process and scar tissue formation is inflammation. This vasodilatory response is how the body brings oxygen, growth factors and cytokines to the injury site to initiate the healing response.
As important as inflammation is to the healing process, too much inflammation can have a deleterious effect on the healing process increase scar tissue formation. In fact, a large number of studies suggest that higher levels of inflammation in injured tissue correlates directly with excessive scar tissue formation.
To support a healthy inflammation process again we turn to systemic enzymes. Systemic enzymes can play a role in preventing scar tissue formation by supporting the bodies natural inflammatory response.
Because the inflammatory response happens immediately after an injury or surgery, starting systemic enzymes right away is recommended. Continued use may be beneficial as the entire scar remodeling process can take several months. Of course always consult with your physician before starting any systemic enzyme regimen.