Injury is not something we aim for; but it is something that so many of us have done, and continue to do. Being injured is hard, and it’s important to acknowledge that. Getting back to your injury-free state can be easy when you understand the healing process and learn what to do.
To deeper understand the continuum of the healing process and when massage therapy is advisable, it is important to know that there are 4 main phases of healing. It is just as important to know that we go through these healing phases at our body’s own pace, and that we deal with injury and pain uniquely.
The 4 phases of healing
- Your body is in “protection mode”, you may experience swelling, inflammation and or pain. This is when there is the most bleeding in the direct area of the injury.
- This can last for 2-4 days after your initial injury.
- Use the R.I.C.E routine in between treatment with a healthcare professional;
Rest – to avoid further damage
Ice – to help reduce inflammation and pain
Compress – to support the injured area and reduce any swelling
Elevate – the injured area above the heart level, if possible, to reduce swelling
- Massaging directly over the area of injury should be avoided, instead a good indirect massage (away from the site of injury) may be beneficial in relieving pain.
Sub – Acute Phase:
- This stage can last up to 6 weeks.
- The body is just starting to repair what has been damaged.
- A professional massage is recommended to speed up the recovery process.
Late Stage – Remodeling Phase:
- This can last between 6 weeks and 3 months.
- You are still healing in this phase, so take it easy. This is not the time to push through any lingering pain.
- Scar tissue is forming as your body identifies that the healing tissue is still not strong enough to stretch and function correctly.
- Massage therapy is endorsed in this phase, as it promotes circulation for the repairing tissue and allows the already forming scar tissue to have the necessary mobility for its correct function.
- This occurs if you are still experiencing pain 3 months on from the initial injury.
- The damaged tissue is constantly being re-injured by your daily physical activity.
- Massage therapy is highly recommended to improve your healing process, mobility, pain relief and body mechanics, amongst other benefits.
I have experienced injury first hand, I know what it feels like; and it’s horrible. From my own personal experiences and training, I am able to empathize and assist you as you go through these phases. I will provide specific treatment to help you, and get you back to doing what you love doing faster.