The Regenerative Phase of The Healing Process
Alright, and welcome back to another edition of … The Blog!
So, initially, we have the Acute, Inflammatory Phase.
Textbooks say this lasts about 3 days/ 72 hours, but I ‘m not so sure about this given peoples’ poor levels of health and inflammatory diets. Each time you twist or torque and get a flare-up, it is not so much considered an exacerbation of the initial injury, but rather a NEW injury altogether. This could be much longer than just 72 hours, so this is why we love ice so much.
The second phase is called the Reparative, or Proliferative, or Regenerative Phase simply because this is what happens at this time. This phase is considered to take up to 2 weeks or so, but even this number can be pushed further into the future by stretching, heating and doing things that re-injure the initial injury.
Signaled by the Acute, Inflammatory Phase, tons and tons of different types of cells come in the injury site- one might say a proliferation of cells to clean up the destruction and repair the damaged tissues. This is where the tissues begin to scar and get stiff. So many different cells from white blood cells to cells that release the material that forms scars, to enzymes that break down the damaged cells and tissues, to growth factor, to stem cells and on and on. This is the moment you’ve been waiting for- repair and healing!
Like everything, too much can be too much. During this phase as the tissue starts to knit and person will feel stiff and want to get in there and start stretching- BAD IDEA, you’ll tear the scar tissue and the body will have lay down more and more and more. This can’t be a good thing- and it’s not.
During this phase it will be extra important to stay mobile- again THIS IS NOT FLEXIBLE, so no stretching. You want to move the injured area by walking and reaching and going through the motions of your typical day. One caution though-DO NOT LOAD THESE MOTIONS! For example, if you typically put 50 lbs of weight on your back and walk 5 miles, LEAVE THE WEIGHTS AT HOME, and go for a 100 yard or quarter-mile walk and see how you do. Add a little more distance in a day or so, and perhaps 5 or 10 lbs. The idea here is GRADIENT SCALE. Just a little, see how you do, then a little more, see how you do and so on until you are back to your pre-injury levels.
What you should notice during this phase is that motion and activity feel pretty good to a point. That’s when you rest. Sitting, stationary postures and inactivity probably won’t feel very good. The tissue is scarring and motion is necessary to keep the scarring to a minimum.
This is also a good time to get adjusted and use Cryofos and MyAct.
During this phase, we gradually work you through your motions until you are confident that you are good and have recovered.
Alright, well I’ll talk a little more about this later, and move onto the third phase!