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What are the Stages of Healing after an Accident?

The stages of soft tissue healing: transcript

so if you have an injury you need to
realize
that healing takes time
there are there are different stages of
healing i’m going to talk about now
there’s acute subacute
remodeling
functional and return to sport and these
are all in the timeline
so here’s the acute phase of healing
this is where you have active bruising
you can see the bruising and with the
macro trauma
you’ve got swelling that comes in
your body is trying to bridge the gap if
you’ve torn some tissue
and this is the period of time right
after an injury
so we know that muscle healing peaks at
two weeks
and this is just that would be just
after the acute phase of healing the
acute phase of healing is up to one week
and you can see on the timeline where it
starts at zero weeks and it goes up to
60 weeks almost
the acute phase of healing is that
yellow part it’s a very small part of
the timeline
but this is probably the most crucial
part of the timeline after an injury
this is when you really need to
control the swelling
reduce
re-injury compress the swelling
and
start to reintroduce some passive motion
as soon as you can
so next is the subacute phase of healing
this is when you start to rebuild you
can see the arrow right there we’re into
the orange zone
and the the subacute phase of healing is
when you want to start moving
inflammation away from the injured area
effleurage massage that stuff away from
the injured area
and these the subacute phase is three to
four weeks
grant this is a really crucial
period of time for the healing process
during an injury so if you had a
whiplash injury
this is the part of time where you
really want to see the symptoms go down
otherwise you have a greater chance of
having chronic symptoms
but in this phase of healing
you uh you’re starting to lay down some
of the the stem cells that create
collagen fiber
to rebuild
and once those stem cells are laid down
and the collagen fibers are starting to
be formed by fibroblasts
microscopically
now you’re in the remodeling phase of
healing
and this is when you want to strengthen
those connections you’ve bridged the
gaps
with collagen fibers
they’re contracting
and they’re bridging those two together
and they’re starting to form
junctions again between the one side of
the injury and the other side but now
you want to strengthen the connections
and what that looks like is this if
you’ve got to uh you’ve got to take
the fibers and you’ve got to stretch
them out with a tensile force
you don’t want to compress them you want
to go up with a tensile force so if you
contract a muscle
the contractile elements and the
ligament in the muscle or the tendon in
the muscle
has to be under a load
to
stimulate the healing process
so we want good movement and we want
strong movement
so stretching and movement help to align
the microscopic collagen fibers
but this remodeling phase can take up to
52 weeks like up to a year depending on
what part of the body it is if the
ligament is very poor blood supply
and so it can take longer if it’s muscle
well we learned that muscle healing
peaks at two weeks
so the remodeling phase for muscle is
way earlier in the timeline
so how long should a treatment plan be
what do you think at the the top here
we’ve got the acute in the subacute
phase and that’s the most crucial point
and that’s six weeks
but at the bottom we’ve got 60 weeks
as you go through the remodeling
and the the functional phase and return
the sport
so
if you’re deciding on the chiropractic
treatment plan
you’re going to want your treatment plan
to be a little bit more frequently in
the first few weeks
and then you taper off from there
because usually in the chiropractic
office you’re receiving passive care
where stuff is done to you
we want to move you past passive care
and more towards active care where you
be you are being more active and
you are taking the initiative to
actively contract your muscles
so six weeks is the most important
stretch of time
most frequently come in for care
during
the
remodeling phase
you’re starting to segue into the
functional phase
and the return to sport if you’re an
athlete
now functional phase is a very important
part of the remodeling phase because
during the functional phase you’re still
rebuilding strength
but you’re also working on speed agility
flexibility
and what we call proprioception
proprioception is your awareness and
space
so i’ve got my finger right here i can
see my finger
i can see it with the way it moves
i can feel it
and i can watch it move but if i put my
finger behind my back i can no longer
see my finger and see what it’s up to
but i know exactly where my finger is in
space
because the muscles and joints joint
receptors
for my finger are very active telling my
brain
where things are in space
so proprioception is something that can
be disrupted after an injury along with
agility and flexibility so you want to
rebuild that by doing some balance
exercises as well as some of the
strengthening exercises that you know
you should do
now return to sport is when you are at
full strength again
but you still have to work on
[Music]
maintaining full strength maintaining
your agility and your range of motion
and your proprioception your balance
so these are very important parts of the
remodeling phase and this is something
that you should be actively doing
yourself
and maybe with a strength and
conditioning coach if you’re an athlete
but this is something that’s active care
that you should be doing for yourself
and
that
concludes
soft tissue healing and it should
hopefully give you a better idea
of
why a chiropractic care plan or even a
physical therapist care plan
is structured the way it’s structured

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