Protection - Optimal Loading – Ice – Compression - Elevation
In this blog (part one) I will explain the stages of soft tissue injury. When we injure soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, or tendons) we damage cells. New (acute) soft tissue injuries go through 4 phases in the healing process:
- the Bleeding phase – this typically lasts 0-2 hours; then as the internal bleeding reduces the body moves into,
- the Inflammation phase – this typically lasts 24 to 48 hours for a milder injury but can be up a week plus for more extensive injuries. This is when the injured body part swells and that throbbing aching pain dominates.
- the Repair phase – the body starts to lay down scar tissue to patch up the torn fibres (the damaged cells); this stage is typically lasts few days to a few weeks (depending how bad the initial injury was) as the body rebuilds the injured part. When the tensile strength is strong enough you as the athlete tend not to notice the injury anymore; however,
- the Remodelling phase – goes on for many months as the new tissue becomes more and more well organised and gets biomechanically better and better structured.
Pete Jowsey MSc MMACP MCSP HCPC www.pjphysio.co.uk