The importance of movement

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Movement is essential to tissue healing. This is why people are often not put in a cast for 6 weeks anymore.

All connective tissue (bones, tendons, muscles, fascia etc) heal in a similar way, when they get damaged, broken, torn etc they are repaired with new collagen fibres. Muscles fibres all go in the same direction – think of a cooked chicken breast and how you can pull strands off. When the new collagen fibres come along to repair the damaged area they don’t all go in the same direction, they just get laid down in a hap-hazard way. For the muscle to work properly the fibres need to all go in the same direction and the way that the new collagen fibres will align with the old fibres is by movement.

Movement is possibly the last thing you want to do when you’re injured, but if you are injured massage in the direction of the tissue can really help, you don’t have to go back to powerlifting or running 10ks on damaged tissue.

Some people think that you shouldn’t massage an injury…and they are right, but only for the first couple of days after the injury, for days 2-5 after an injury deep tissue massage isn’t recommended but there are massage techniques like lymph drainage, passive mobilisation and gentle MET (Muscle Energy Technique) will promote early movement around the recovering area and is also likely to reduce the length of time an injury takes to recover

If you don’t move, then there is a risk that the collagen fibres won’t align properly and this is when scar tissue forms. Scar tissue is where the adhesions between the collagen fibres are really strong and difficult to remodel.

The earlier on in the recovery you start movement (after the first 2 days) the better and the less chance there is of scar tissue forming

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