Phases of Healing

The Healing Process with Physical Therapy

The Three Phases of Healing

If you are injured, physical therapy helps you to accelerate your healing process and increases the likelihood of a complete recovery. Below, we look at the various phases of healing after injury.

Reaction Phase

During the first 24-72 hours of an injury, a trauma response has begun at your injured area. This can include swelling, muscle spasm, and guarding. It is during this stage that people often use painkillers and immobilize the painful area. Physical Therapy at New Heights helps you through this phase by using the body’s natural repair process. A special movement program increases blood flow to bring healing nutrients and oxygen to the injured area and takes waste products away. Gentle manual therapy reduces pain, swelling, spasms, and diminishes your chances of developing scar tissue.

Regeneration Phase

The regeneration phase typically lasts 6-8 weeks. During this time, your body lays down new tissue within the injured area and repairs nerve connections to damaged tissue. This is also the time when undesirable scar tissue may begin to form. During the Regeneration Phase, physical therapy is your primary method of achieving a number of benefits, including:

  • Acceleration of the repair and strengthening of damaged tissue
  • Prevention of excessive scar tissue buildup, which can lead to recurring injuries
  • Help in overall recovery, no matter how severe the injury is
  • Decreased pain
  • Increased delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the injured area
  • Increased range of motion

Remodeling Phase

The Remodeling Phase is the complete restoration of healthy function to the injured area, and may take as long as 3-12 months after your injury. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are healed just because you no longer have pain. Connective tissue heals over time. For example, the true source of a recurring spinal disc injury is often poor health of the connective tissue, and faulty spinal mechanics. The simple act of bending over to pick up a pencil can cause serious back pain. During the Remodeling Phase, we are correcting faulty spinal mechanics to achieve complete restoration of connective tissue health. The benefits provided by physical therapy include:

  • Thickening (strengthening) of damaged tissue to prevent recurring injury
  • Reduction of scar tissue buildup (accumulation of scar tissue can lead to recurring injury)
  • Restoration of full elasticity and flexibility to muscles and joints
  • Improving faulty mechanics of your joints and removing compensation patterns
  • Improved blood circulation and oxygenation to the entire body
  • Minimize development of chronic pain
  • Maintaining your range of motion
  • Work retraining or work simulated activities that help you stay on the job or return safely

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(503) 236-3108 East Portland
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Phases of Healing in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

Seeing Patients on the East Side of Portland:
SE Portland | NE Portland | Gresham | Happy Valley | Clackamas | Milwaukie | Mt Tabor | Belmont | Lloyd Center | Laurelhurst | Hollywood District

On Portland's West Side:
Downtown Portland | Beaverton | Tigard | Hillsboro | Cedar Mill | Cornell | Sylvan | Cedar Hills

And in the Vancouver WA Area:
Downtown Vancouver | Fruit Valley | Hazel Dell | Felida | Cascade Park | Camas Washington

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