We live in a fast pace world: filled with fast cars, fast internet, and things like grub hub and Amazon Prime. The american culture today has an expectation that “fast” or “quick” services yield the best results.
This concept may prove well for certain things such as oil changes, downloads and quick delivery however when it comes to how we treat our body; good things just don’t come fast!
In Physical Therapy, we focus on the healing of tissues, adapting to stress and rebuilding tolerance to load/activity. Each phase requires a certain time frame and standards to be met prior to moving to the next phase. There are plenty of therapies we can guide the patient through to help increase their tolerance to load, strength, range of motion and to reduce pain, within these phases however there is one thing we CAN NOT RUSH… and that is TIME.
The body takes TIME to heal but how we use that time can make ALL the difference in the world!
A few things must be in check in order to give the body a well suited environment for healing:
THE BIG 3:
SLEEP is where we ACTUALLY heal: the body lays down fibroblasts which leads to collagen production and new substance to form inside the healing structure. Sleep is where our bodies can rest, reset, digest and recharge.
Proper NUTRITION; eating enough macronutrients such as fats, protein, carbs AND the proper micro nutrients/vitamins and minerals will give the body the proper foundation to rebuild healthy tissue. Eating processed, fatty, salty ingredients can prolong the bodies time in an inflammation state therefore making it more likely to create a “chronic” problem or prolonged standard healing times.
Next comes STRESS: now this does not refer to getting into a fight with a cowers or worrying about money it refers to the stress or load we give our healing tissues in the form of rest and exercise. In early stages of healing, rest is perfectly fine, it gives time for the new tissues to form and get deposited into our wound and immobilization of a certain body part may be necessary. However, in order to return to functional standards the new or repairing tissues need to be given enough stress through resistance training, weight bearing and time under tension in order to tolerate our prior levels of function and beyond.
The time between rest and return to prior level of function must be handled with care. Unfortunately many rest too long without loading their healing injury appropriately OR return too quickly to prior level and have a high re-injury rate due to weakness of their new tissue. In this case “healed tissue does not mean a strong and ready tissue.”
With Physical therapy, we can teach you HOW TO load and more importantly WHEN to begin loading your injury/surgery or healing tissue progressively to help you reach your goals.
Here’s a little science, because... well, science matters:
Examples of HEALING times:
Exercise Muscle Soreness
Grade 1: 0-2 weeks
Grade 2: 2 weeks-3months
Grade 3: months-6 months
Grade 1: 0-2 weeks
Grade 2: 3 wk-6months
Grade 3: 6 wks-1yr
Tendonitis: 2 wk- 6 wk
Tendonosis: 3 mo- 6 months
Laceration: 5 wks-6 months
Non-displaced: 4 wks-3months
Displaced: 3 months- 1 yr
Moral of the story
Be patient. Don’t skip the important steps. Control the controllables. Seek help/guidance.
Rushing an injury will ultimately waste your time when you inevitably re-injure yourself.
Take care of your self my beautiful people.
Dr. Nicole Palermo