What are the Stages of Healing after an Accident?

Todd Lloyd
July 2, 2022

The stages of soft tissue healing: transcript

so if you have an injury you need torealizethat healing takes timethere are there are different stages ofhealing i'm going to talk about nowthere's acute subacuteremodelingfunctional and return to sport and theseare all in the timelineso here's the acute phase of healingthis is where you have active bruisingyou can see the bruising and with themacro traumayou've got swelling that comes inyour body is trying to bridge the gap ifyou've torn some tissueand this is the period of time rightafter an injuryso we know that muscle healing peaks attwo weeksand this is just that would be justafter the acute phase of healing theacute phase of healing is up to one weekand you can see on the timeline where itstarts at zero weeks and it goes up to60 weeks almostthe acute phase of healing is thatyellow part it's a very small part ofthe timelinebut this is probably the most crucialpart of the timeline after an injurythis is when you really need tocontrol the swellingreducere-injury compress the swellingandstart to reintroduce some passive motionas soon as you canso next is the subacute phase of healingthis is when you start to rebuild youcan see the arrow right there we're intothe orange zoneand the the subacute phase of healing iswhen you want to start movinginflammation away from the injured areaeffleurage massage that stuff away fromthe injured areaand these the subacute phase is three tofour weeksgrant this is a really crucialperiod of time for the healing processduring an injury so if you had awhiplash injurythis is the part of time where youreally want to see the symptoms go downotherwise you have a greater chance ofhaving chronic symptomsbut in this phase of healingyou uh you're starting to lay down someof the the stem cells that createcollagen fiberto rebuildand once those stem cells are laid downand the collagen fibers are starting tobe formed by fibroblastsmicroscopicallynow you're in the remodeling phase ofhealingand this is when you want to strengthenthose connections you've bridged thegapswith collagen fibersthey're contractingand they're bridging those two togetherand they're starting to formjunctions again between the one side ofthe injury and the other side but nowyou want to strengthen the connectionsand what that looks like is this ifyou've got to uh you've got to takethe fibers and you've got to stretchthem out with a tensile forceyou don't want to compress them you wantto go up with a tensile force so if youcontract a musclethe contractile elements and theligament in the muscle or the tendon inthe musclehas to be under a loadtostimulate the healing processso we want good movement and we wantstrong movementso stretching and movement help to alignthe microscopic collagen fibersbut this remodeling phase can take up to52 weeks like up to a year depending onwhat part of the body it is if theligament is very poor blood supplyand so it can take longer if it's musclewell we learned that muscle healingpeaks at two weeksso the remodeling phase for muscle isway earlier in the timelineso how long should a treatment plan bewhat do you think at the the top herewe've got the acute in the subacutephase and that's the most crucial pointand that's six weeksbut at the bottom we've got 60 weeksas you go through the remodelingand the the functional phase and returnthe sportsoif you're deciding on the chiropractictreatment planyou're going to want your treatment planto be a little bit more frequently inthe first few weeksand then you taper off from therebecause usually in the chiropracticoffice you're receiving passive carewhere stuff is done to youwe want to move you past passive careand more towards active care where yoube you are being more active andyou are taking the initiative toactively contract your musclesso six weeks is the most importantstretch of timemost frequently come in for careduringtheremodeling phaseyou're starting to segue into thefunctional phaseand the return to sport if you're anathletenow functional phase is a very importantpart of the remodeling phase becauseduring the functional phase you're stillrebuilding strengthbut you're also working on speed agilityflexibilityand what we call proprioceptionproprioception is your awareness andspaceso i've got my finger right here i cansee my fingeri can see it with the way it movesi can feel itand i can watch it move but if i put myfinger behind my back i can no longersee my finger and see what it's up tobut i know exactly where my finger is inspacebecause the muscles and joints jointreceptorsfor my finger are very active telling mybrainwhere things are in spaceso proprioception is something that canbe disrupted after an injury along withagility and flexibility so you want torebuild that by doing some balanceexercises as well as some of thestrengthening exercises that you knowyou should donow return to sport is when you are atfull strength againbut you still have to work on[Music]maintaining full strength maintainingyour agility and your range of motionand your proprioception your balanceso these are very important parts of theremodeling phase and this is somethingthat you should be actively doingyourselfand maybe with a strength andconditioning coach if you're an athletebut this is something that's active carethat you should be doing for yourselfandthatconcludessoft tissue healing and it shouldhopefully give you a better ideaofwhy a chiropractic care plan or even aphysical therapist care planis structured the way it's structured

Todd Lloyd
adjust.clinic logo Petaluma chiropractor
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