The following applies to any injury, and is just the body’s way of dealing with (physical) injury.
After an injury occurs, you go through 3-4 phases of healing.
1. Bleeding, or clotting; typically lasting hours, can be days.
In this phase, blood vessels close down to minimise blood loss, and if necessary, close off an open wound to prevent infection from entering. Obviously, not all injuries involve bleeding or bruising
This is a perfectly normal phase of healing, that all tissue must go through in order to heal. However, we want this phase to be as effective and efficient as possible; the more efficient this phase is, the more effective the rest of the healing process can be. This phase is characterised by increased blood supply to the site of the injury, to provide more of the building blocks necessary for tissue healing. However inflammation is also an irritant, so this can be the most painful phase.
3. Proliferation or scar formation; this phase overlaps with the inflammatory phase, and typically lasts 6-8 weeks.
This phase is characterised by scar formation, closing any wound in the damaged tissue (skin, ligament, tendon, muscle etc) with new collagen laid down fairly haphazardly forming scaffolding for the repair tissue to come; new blood vessels forming; and the wound itself contracting.
4. Remodelling, or maturation; again, this phase overlaps with the previous, but typically lasts months to years.
This phase is categorised by the scar tissue shrinking, and reorganising along the lines of stress (eg. along the line of pull for a muscle or tendon), mimicking the damaged tissue and becoming stronger. If completed successfully, any residual scarring may well be microscopic in nature, making no difference to the strength of the material.
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