Are adhesions good or bad?

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Last week I shared photos of a weepy eye horse (see article here)

I appreciate the questions that came in, and thought I’d explain more about adhesions.

Adhesions in the body are groups of cells used for “sticky-gluey” tasks. Just like adhesive tape.

What do adhesions do?

Adhesion formation typically happens with inflammation. The body uses the adhesions to keep areas stuck together, like glue.

Why would it want to do that? Well, for example, if there is inflammation within the eyelid due to the horse rubbing its weepy eye, then the eyelid swells and gets puffy.

But we certainly do not want the eyelid to split apart due to the swelling, right? Thus, adhesions to the rescue.

Adhesions “hold everything together” while the immune system deals with the problems.

What types of inflammation are there?

Inflammation can have obvious signs of swelling, soreness, or heat. Or it can be subtle (officially called “subclinical”).

Wherever there’s a problem in the body, there’s almost always inflammation. And wherever there is inflammation, there are adhesions.

Do adhesions go away?

In the ideal world, the adhesions will resolve (that is, go away) when the inflammation goes away.

But sometimes they don’t.

I don’t know why…maybe the body is just busy doing other things and doesn’t feel removing adhesions is important.

What can be done if they don’t go away?

First, I should say that you can’t see adhesions with the naked eye. Nor does the veterinarian have any equipment that can find adhesions. It’s mostly when swelling … seems to become permanent.

Like if you had a swollen tendon. At first it’s hot, swollen, sore to touch, but then you treat it perfectly.

When it is no longer hot or tender — sometimes even months later — in some cases it’s still somewhat swollen. That’s the sign of adhesions being present. (It could be other things like scar tissue, but let’s not get too complicated.)

When we do TBT (Tucker BioKinetic Technique), we find primary causes (including adhesions) by a few different methods. Then we are able to remove the energy of the adhesions with TBT. The body is then able to remove the physical components of the adhesions very easily.

If you don’t have a TBT practitioner available, what can be tried is “tricking” the body into thinking that there is inflammation…so the immune system comes back to reassess the situation and remove adhesions.

It’s not really that “tricky”. Something as simple as hot and cold packs. Heat the area nice and really warm for 20 minutes. Then ice or cold-hose for 20 minutes.

Doing hot-cold-hot-cold (yes, an hour and 20 minutes) would be perfect to draw the attention of the immune system.

You can do that every 3 days for a week or so and see if there’s improvement.

Hopefully that helps! 🙂

Renee Tucker, DVM

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