Sports Injury Healing
Can you ever recuperate, heal, from an injury?
Well, let’s talk about what an injury is. An injury is something that happens to the soft tissues, the muscles, the ligaments, the joints, the discs that surround and stabilize these structures. Now, I’m talking about injuries to joints. Injuries like a whiplash or a fall, a sports injury.
Let’s look at what’s going on. Normal soft tissue is made up of well-organized fibers. When you look at it under a microscope, it’s made up of fibers that are regular. This architecture allows for strength, flexibility, elasticity, and resilience. When you get hurt, these fibers get torn, get compressed, get smooshed. They’re no longer performing appropriately. The body then, to stabilize the damage, starts to put down scar tissue, collagen deposits. This is like glue. It keeps it together, but this does not function like normal tissue. It doesn’t have elasticity. It’s fragile, and it’s much more likely to create pain.
To recover as quickly and completely as possible, several things need to happen. We need to start to break up this scar tissue. We do that with chiropractic adjustments that restore the proper range of motion of the joints, and we do that with soft tissue work.
Now, the next thing that needs to happen is that we need to start to exercise those fibers. So the next step after adjustment starts to restore mobility is to stretch so that the tissue fibers realign into something that is more closely resembling the original tissue.
Then the rehab phase opens up and strengthening completes the process.
A lot of people ask me, do we ever get back all the way to normal? Probably not. And the longer the period of time since the injury, the longer you wait to do something, the less likely you are to get all the way back. But if you do a little bit of work, you’re going to get some results. If you’re pretty consistent, follow through with chiropractic adjustments, stretching, and strengthening, you’re going to do pretty well. If you really stick with it over the time it takes for you to heal, and that’s measured in months or even years. You’re looking at 12, 18, 24 months. You can actually get pretty close to the original and normal function. If you’re hurt, let’s get the process started as quickly as possible so you can get back to doing the things you want to do in your life, unimpeded by the scarring of those injuries.