Question about Scar Tissue Pain (Quad)

Does anyone have any experience with painful scar tissue?

More than a year ago I strained my quad, was told it would get better over a few weeks (grade 1-2) cut a very very very long story short the pain is still in my quad after I run, it builds up after a few runs and takes anywhere between a few days and a few weeks to settle back down. I have seen 4 physios, 3 x podiatrists and 3 x doctors and they have all came up with various reasons for this pain. Anywhere between arthiritis in hip (had MRI to disprove that) to a Thoracic Scoliosis and many other things in between.

Last week I went to see Physio number 5 and he felt the sore area and said I had a big lump there and that is why its sore, scar tissue lack of blood etc. Said all I need is self massage and some ESWT treatment and gentle streching and it will go away.

My question is, is this even possible?  Nobody that I have seen has suggested this "simple problem" I dont know why it has healed so badly but now that he has pointed it out I can feel this big lump that I didnt know I had before. 


Has anyone had scar tissue pain, how did it feel and how long did it take to get better?  I have had two ESWT sessions and some self massage and I dont really feely any benefit yet but he reckoned it would come good within a month of treatment.

Anyone with experience with this I would appreciate any tips / feedback.



  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    I was led to believe that a quad muscle injury was one of the worst as the repair mechanism had the abilty to build bone into the site of injury. 

    Scar tissue ++


  • Bone! Dont like the sound of that at all. It seems relatively soft and moves around a bit, hopefully not got to that stage yet.

    I am hoping someone on here can give me some hope with a similar story and a happy ending....


  • Probably not quite the perfectly happy ending that you're looking for, but I tore a quad playing football in 1994 at the age of 23 and was never able to play again without either a full or partial recurrence. Had a crap doctor who refused to refer me for physiotherapy, couldn't at the time afford to go private, and I eventually gave up trying to come back from it.

    My then girlfriend, now wife, and I did A LOT of work over many months trying to break the scar tissue down ourselves a few years later, and it eased enough to allow me to play cricket to a half decent standard, although I do still get a dull ache from it on a fairly regular basis, and I feel it pull if I try to hurdle anything - say clambering over rows of seats in a stadium.

    I finally took up running comparatively late in life at the end of last year and it hasn't stopped me making some reasonable progress so far, though I have had niggles in the other leg which I think is having to work disproportionately hard to compensate for the weakness in that with the torn quad. Having lost over 2 stone in weight, there's also now a visible difference in the strength of the two legs too - the stronger leg has a circumference of more than an inch greater than the weaker round the thigh.

    So, my advice would be don't allow yourself to be fobbed off like I was - make sure you badger the stink out of everyone you can to ensure you get it properly sorted!

    Good luck.

  • Thanks Bob,

    Did the pain in your quad appear when you were exercising or was it more apparent afterwards?  I am still getting my head around whether or not this really is my problem or not.  I have had so many conflicting opinions I am not convinved with anything now, this is the first diagnosis that seems likely to me.  

    My pain is mild after exercise then worse the next day then it plateaus off then fades after either a few days or a few weeks depending on bad i beat it up.  Apart from the strain muscle at the time it has never been terribly sore never more than 6/10 but bad enough to make me not run. It was also a cumulative thing, one run a little sore then two runs more painful etc etc and the more runs I done the longer it took to settle down. 

    Also the lump is quite sore when I put my elbow into it but not as painful as I have read it could be.

    Does this sound familar to you? Can you tell me how you broke it down and how long did it take?




  • Sorry, fella - missed your replies here over the weekend.

    The pain wouldn't be made worse by exercise unless it was actually pulling on the scar tissue itself. The injury iself is a long time ago now, but I don't particularly remember any increased pain during or after exercise unless I'd aggravated it with that specific range of movement that engaged the scarring. The general aching that I had, and still get from time to time, was and is pretty random really.

    And there was definitely pain or discomfort from applied pressure in the early days when the scarring was more prominent, yes.

    As far as what we tried to do to break it down, it was basically a case of getting a combination of the heel of our hands, and thumbs into the scar tissue as much as possible. There's only so much pain you can inflict on yourself, so it was more effective when my wife was doing it, but make sure you use some massage oil or similar as it's very painful on the skin if you're applying the necessary degree of pressure without it! I'd also try to do a lot of stretching of the quad, at all times, but particularly after the above, when it's warm and a bit more pliable.

    As mentioned previously, this went on irregularly for months (possibly over a year) and then just petered out without ever solving the problem completely. It's just something I live with now.

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