If you have a soft tissue injury, your body has to heal itself. Painkillers help with the pain but they won’t heal anything — they just mask the pain. Only time will help heal you. Explained below are the four stages of the healing process. This cycle may take up to two years to complete.
Stage 1 Stop the Bleeding
Most times when we injure ourselves we have typically caused our tissue to tear. Immediately upon injuring yourself the soft tissue leaks fluids to help patch the damage immediately. These will be blood, lymph, or other fluids that contain the damage whether it is internal or external. Depending on the severity, the healing process can take minutes, hours, or a few days.
Stage 2 Fill the Gap
New tissue doesn’t grow back right away. Most tissues need nerves and blood flow to be able to work properly. This generic tissue fills the gap of the injury regardless of where the injury occurred. Once the gap is filled the veins and nerves can start re-growing. Between 4-24 days is when the first tissue does most of it’s growing. At the end of this stage if healing you will most likely feel little to no pain.
Stage 3 Shrink the Gap
At this stage the tissue has new blood flow and nerves to the area have formed and the next level of stronger tissue will replace the new tissue. With access to proper nutrients from a regular blood supply, this second type of tissue is much stronger. It bonds tightly to the ends of your wound and over time acts like a tightening muscle and pulls the edges of your wound together. At this point you’ll notice that the tissue will turn a more pale colour and start to shrink as this type of tissue will help to pull the wound together. This stage takes place from three months up to one year.
Stage 4 Original Tissue Type Returns
After the wound has shrunk as much as possible the original tissue starts to form. At this point the muscle, tendon, ligament, or cartilage can regrow. After the body replaces the scar tissue with the original tissue is your injury considered fully healed. Unfortunately, this can take up to two years after the original injury.