Muscle injuries are common occurrences, particularly for athletes or people
who tend to use their muscles constantly. If muscles are injured, it is
because they have been strained beyond their capacity to stretch, causing
tears. If you have been injured recently, you should understand how a
muscle heals and how long it can be expected to take to recover completely.
The 3 phases of muscle healing begin with the
destruction of the tissue itself. When an injury happens, either a contusion or strain,
muscle fibers and small blood vessels tear and fill the injured area with
blood. The blood contains inflammatory cells that flood the damaged area
and seal it off from any external influence to ensure the destruction
and subsequent phases only happen at the injured site. This usually occurs
during the 1st few days after injury.
Next, the body works on
repair. In this phase, a cell called a “macrophage” visits the injured
site. The macrophage destroys or deconstructs dead tissue and dry blood
around the injury. After this cleanup is complete, a satellite cell arrives
to transform into myoblast cells. These cells group together to create
new muscle fibers. Simultaneously, cells called fibroblasts work to produce
connective tissue at the site. The connective tissue and the new muscle
fibers join together to repair the tear in the muscle. New blood vessels
and nerves are also being created during this stage. This whole process
will occur around 2 weeks after the injury.
The last phase of healing is
remodeling, though it can often overlap with the repair phase. During this time,
the regenerating muscle fibers and connective tissue continue to grow
and mature and are oriented into the final scar tissue. This stage is
important because of the implications of how the muscle grows. Undamaged
muscle tissue typically is oriented in straight lines; however, when tissue
repairs itself, the mixture of new connective tissues and muscle fibers
can grow randomly.
Physical therapy can assist new tissue to grow into parallel lines and avoid clumps of
If you require rehabilitation after your muscle tear, please give us a
call. ProFysio is the premier provider of physical rehabilitation in New
Jersey, and we are the only fellowship trained therapists in Monmouth
County. Let us see how we can improve your health.
Contact us at (732) 333-6360 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today.