Nature's Way Back To Health

MUELLER  CHIROPRACTIC

Serving patients needs for over 21 years in the Lehigh Valley.

 

3 Phases of Healing

 

 

Many times when a person goes to the Chiropractor he or she is under the impression a hone is out of place and pinching a nerve. He or she believes that if the hone is put back in place the problem will be permanently fixed. This could not he any farther from the truth. On most occasions, the pain is a result of injury to the soft tissues of the body. Soft tissues are basically everything lout the hone. This includes muscles, ligaments, tendons, joint capsules, discs, nerves and fascia. After being injured, soft tissues heal by a relatively complex process, involving three phases.

PHASE ONE - INFLAMMATION.  Normal soft tissues have a crisscross pattern that gives them strength in all directions of force. When soft tissues are torn, their fibers are disrupted in a manner similar to the tearing of a piece of paper. Once these tissues have torn, they will heal in three distinct phases. The first step is the acute inflammation phase, also known as swelling. This phase and swelling will last for about 72 hours after an injury. During this phase, the tissues continue to swell causing more pain and discomfort to the injured area.

PHASE TWO - REGENERATION. The second phase of healing, called regeneration, begins about three days after an injury. During this phase, the tears in the tissues begin to accumulate small protein cells called collagen. These cells create a glue that fills the gap in the tissues caused by the tear. This laying down of the collagen glue during the regeneration phase will take six to eight weeks to complete. After this phase no more glue will be laid down. The glue is what will become scar tissue. When the glue is making scar tissue in the injured area it is being laid down in a weaker more irregular pattern and not in the stronger, criss-cross consistent pattern. After all the glue is in place and the scar tissue has been formed, the healing process is still not yet complete.

PHASE THREE - REMODELING. The final phase is the remodeling phase. This phase takes up to 12 months. During this phase, the irregular pattern of scar tissues will line up in the proper direction to create a better quality of healing. Therefore, remodeling is a motion-dependent phase, that governs the quality of healing in the tissues.

 

THREE PROBLEMS WITH HEALING

The problem is that in some people not all of the scar tissues will properly remodel and, therefore, will never totally heal, leaving residual problems in the tissues. There are three main problems that result from soft tissue injuries that do not heal properly.

The first problem is the scar tissues themselves. Scar tissues are deficient in the criss-cross pattern that makes the tissues strong. This is similar to the crisscross pattern of cloth. If cloth were made in a haphazard pattern, our clothing would be unable to hold up to daily wear and tear. The same is true in the scar tissues of the body. This means there is less a person can do before they experience a flare-up of pain and spasm.

The second problem is that scar tissues are less elastic or stiffer than the original tissues. These new scar tissues are so poorly aligned that when they are stressed the fibers do not move the way they should. In addition, these scar tissues tend to become "glued" together. Because of the poor alignment and the gluing together, the scar tissues become stiffer, weaker and less resilient.

The third and most important problem is that the scar tissues are more pain sensitive than the original tissues. There are two reasons for this increase in sensitivity. The first reason is there are more nerves found in scar tissue than in normal tissue making them more sensitive to pain. The second reason is these nerves are not completely healthy. They are more sensitive to the normal chemicals that make our nerves work. This is similar to a car alarm system that is set too sensitively, so that someone lightly brushing against the car causes the alarm to sound. The same scenario happens to people with this condition when normal activities cause them to have pain. These nerves have been found to be up to one thousand times more sensitive than normal nerves. People with this condition are able to predict weather changes because they can detect the small changes in the barometric pressure of the atmosphere.

How DOES CHIROPRACTIC HELP?

When there is an injury to the spine from cither major traumas, such as whiplash-type injuries, or from the minor traumas of day-to-day life, it is the tissues in and around the joints of the spine and body that are torn. Chiropractors find the areas of the spine and body that have increased stiffness and are less elastic. The Chiropractor identifies these areas as joints that have been injured and have lost their mobility due to the stiffer scar tissue that has formed in the joint. This prevents the joint from working properly. Chiropractors attempt to gently move those scarred tissues using a technique called an adjustment in an effort to help the scarred tissues remodel better. Without motion the tissues will not remodel properly. The goal is to get the best healing possible. Without proper motion, we cannot obtain the optimum remodeling needed for the best healing.

Chiropractic adjustments help to create more motion in the fibrous scar tissue, which allows more of the scar tissue to remodel. This means the patient will have a better quality of healing with less chance of flare-ups of pain and spasms during times of increased use or stress on the tissues that have been injured. Chiropractic adjustments move joints through their entire range of motion allowing all of the injured tissues the chance to properly remodel. This encourages for the best healing which will allow the patient to have the least amount of weakness, the least amount of stiffness, and the least amount of soreness with a smaller chance of flare-ups of pain and spasms from everyday activities of daily living.