The protective phase refers to the first few days after the injury. You're still in pain and you may have noticeable swelling and bruising in the affected area. The protective phase, the first phase of recovery, can last two to four days, depending on the severity of the injury. This is the “Rest and Protect” phase of recovery.
This stage includes swelling and possible bleeding around the affected area. Your body's goal here is to protect your injury from further damage by limiting movement and recruiting supportive tissues to relieve additional pressure. If you suffered a severe ankle sprain, the protective phase may involve wearing a compression bandage or crutch for a few days and avoiding activities that increase pain or swelling. If you have had a knee injury, the initial protective phase may involve tying your knee with a belt and having an examination to better understand the extent of the injury.
The next phase of recovery is the repair phase. This occurs after swelling or bleeding has subsided and usually lasts up to six weeks after the injury. In this phase, the body is depositing new scar tissue. This reduces the need to protect the injury as much as the new scar tissue matures and becomes stronger.
The next stage is the remodeling phase. This usually lasts between six weeks and three months after the injury. In this phase, the body begins to teach scar tissue to behave like the tissue it has replaced. It produces additional new tissue to help strengthen and support healed scar tissue so that you can meet the demands of your normal physical activity.
Most people are surprised to discover how their injury and the ensuing recovery period can lead to muscle weakness and loss of endurance. Objective measures of muscle weakness and atrophy are commonly seen after injury and surgery within 4-6 weeks. Minimizing muscle loss and strength deficits are important rehabilitation goals set out in your physical therapy program. We can begin to progress to phase 2, when pain is greatly reduced, knee movement approaches normal, and can constantly activate key muscles around the knee and hip.
Depending on the injury, this may take a 60-minute session or several weeks. Every person and every injury is different, and while the right approach can speed up the healing process, certain aspects of anatomy cannot be rushed. We found that most traditional rehabilitation programs fail at several points in this process. Pain generators are often not adequately addressed, which can result in altered muscle activation and altered movement biomechanics.
Therefore, addressing all the elements of Phases 1 and 2 is essential. However, where we see traditional rehabilitation most often fail is neglecting Phase 3 completely. Phase 3 is about building bulletproof knees, for life. This phase builds on the foundations of the previous phases.
Consistency in muscle activation, balance, motor control and force absorption is ensured by strategically programmed warm-ups. The elements of Phases 1 and 2 are constantly monitored throughout. We do this because we have clinically discovered that, without constant training, the factors addressed in Phases 1 and 2 can return. You won't feel like you have to go do your physical therapy exercises forever.
We incorporate key exercises into Phase 3 DNA to make it easier to maintain consistency. We believe that a heavy load of muscles, tendons, bones and joints with the right dose is essential for later stages of rehabilitation. If you only complete Phases 1 and 2, you're likely to feel better, but you're at high risk of recurrence. Heavy load is a stimulus that forces additional adaptation, such as collagen reorganization or increased muscle cross-sectional area.
With a proper load, we can improve the endurance of your musculoskeletal system. Cannot be completed within the limits of a traditional 4-6 week physiotherapy course. This strength training is always adapted to individual goals, skill level and sport. For athletes who want to return to play, Phase 3 also adds sport-specific, high-speed motion and plyometric training.
You should challenge your knee in real-life situations and practice moving and reacting to unpredictable circumstances in a safe environment, before returning to higher-risk activities. Finally, Phase 3 relies on evidence-based evidence to ensure that injury risk factors are managed. Examples of this are the push-up jump evaluation, the star or Y balance tests and the one-leg jump tests. These tests should be monitored over time and addressed as needed.
Phase III Restore ROM, improve strength and endurance, proprioception, continue cardio training, must be close. This leads to Phase 5 of the rehabilitation process, which gradually returns the athlete to full activity. This phase of injury rehabilitation can include restoring coordination and balance, improving speed, agility and sport-specific skills, from simple to complex. .