When it comes to the healing phases of an injury, there are generally three main phases: inflammatory phase, proliferative phase, and remodelling phase. Let's explore each of these phases in more detail:
1. Inflammatory Phase:
The inflammatory phase is the initial stage of the healing process and typically lasts about 3-5 days after the injury. During this phase, blood vessels at the injury site constrict to minimize bleeding, and then they dilate to allow white blood cells and other nutrients to reach the injured area. This phase is characterized by swelling, redness, heat, and pain, as the body's immune response works to clear out any debris and prevent infection.
During this phase it is important not to try and do too much, just let the process happen. The inflammation present is there to do a job and trying to minimise it will only slow the healing process down.
2. Proliferative Phase:
The proliferative phase overlaps with the inflammatory phase and usually lasts about 3 days to 3 weeks after the injury. In this stage, new blood vessels form to provide oxygen and nutrients to the injured area, while collagen fibres are produced to build new tissue. Scar tissue is also formed which helps to close the wound.
During this phase it is important to start to put gentle loads through the body. This can be achieved through mobility movements and basic day to day activities that mildly stress the tissue, such as walking, bending to put shoes and socks on, or picking up objects.
3. Remodelling Phase:
The remodelling phase starts around day 21 after the injury and can last for several months to years. During this phase, the collagen fibres that were initially laid down in the proliferative phase undergo remodelling to become stronger and align along the lines of stress. This is important to restore the strength and functionality of the injured tissue. The scar tissue gradually matures and becomes stronger but will never regain the strength of the pre-injured tissue fully.
During this phase it is important to increase the loads going through the injured tissue. This can be done through more specific exercises relevant to your injury, such as push and pull exercises or light jogging.
It's important to note that the duration and progression of these healing phases can vary depending on the type and severity of the injury, individual factors such as age and overall health, as well as the specific treatment methods utilised. Understanding your injury and progressing your activity and exercise at your own pace is one of the key factors in your recovery. We provide of treatment plans for a variety of injuries, all which can be worked through at your own pace, with resources to help understand course of you pain.
We believe that there is usually a straightforward solution to reducing pain, its just a matter of doing the right things at the right time.