Have you ever wondered what happened to our muscles when we get injured? Let’s learn about muscle healing today! There are generally 3 phases of muscle healing, including the destruction phase, the repair phase, and the remodeling phase.
1. Destruction phase
When we first get injured, likely by a contusion or strain, our blood vessels, and the muscle fibers are torn. The inflammatory cells infiltrate into the newly injured site and cause inflammation, which is why the area might be swollen and red after the injury. This phase generally happens in the first few days after the injury. At this phase, treatment usually includes compression and elevation.
2. Repair phase
During the repair phase, the inflammatory cells will clear up the debris and stimulate the regenerative cells. New capillaries and nerves will be formed, which lead to the regeneration of the disrupted muscle cells. Although the connective tissues are being regenerated, the tissue is not of the best quality, and re-injury is likely to happen at this phase. This phase generally starts during the first 4-5 days after injury and peaks at 2 weeks. At this phase, treatment usually includes isometric and isotonic exercises.
3. Remodeling phase
The last phase is called the remodeling phase. This phase usually overlaps with the repair phase and can last for months to years. During the remodeling phase, the regenerative fibers will remodel themselves with a better-quality type of connective tissue and are being oriented into the final scar tissue. At this phase, treatment usually includes exercises and manual therapy.
Since there are different healing processes going on at different stages, it is important to find a therapist to guide you through each stage of healing to regain optimal strength and function!