Tissue healing can be divided into 3 main stages, each having multiple phases:
- Vascular (day 0-14): covers the wound* and injured blood vessels
*wound can be an actual cut or damage to a muscle/ligament/tendon
- Cellular (day 0-14): removes bacteria and dead tissue to prevent injury
2. Proliferation (AKA Reparative)
- Re-epithelization (first 48 hours): forms scab over wound
- Fibroplasia with neovascularization (day 2-5): scar tissue formation and new blood vessels
- Wound contracture (day 4-21): closure of the wound
3. Maturation (AKA Remodeling)
- Consolidation (day 21-60): conversion of cells to fibrous tissue (collagen)
- Maturation (day 60-360): strengthening of scar tissue
Cappie definitely knows how to rest....
The idea of tendons, ligaments, and muscles returning to their original state after injury is not strongly supported by research literature. (When I say muscle injury I’m referring to a large muscle tear, not a small one or the little tears that occur when you workout). This is because scar tissue fills the injured area, and it does not have the same strength as the original tissue. However, tissues still have the ability to repair, and the goal is to help normalize them as much as possible in order to re-gain the maximum amount of function. How do we normalize them? Listen to your body and take care of you injuries. Take a few days to rest, but don’t sit on your butt and complain that you are injured. In the post titled Injured Much? Cody shared his own injury experience, as well as some awesome insight from K-Starr on why it’s still good to exercise while recovering from an injury. I recommend reading this to help understand why it’s good to keep moving during recovery.