Wound healing phases

The phases of wound healing

After injuries – without us having to contribute anything in particular – a wound healing process occurs. The body heals itself!
This wound healing process consists of three phases, which can take different lengths of time depending on the injury and tissue.

With the help of the following article, we would like to introduce you to the three individual wound healing phases in more detail so that you can better assess and support the next healing process. The three healing phases are as follows:

  • Inflammatory phase
  • Proliferation phase
  • Remodeling phase

In the event of an injury, these three phases are always run through. How long each phase lasts depends on the type of injury and also the rehabilitation. Let’s start with the first phase.

Inflammatory phase

The inflammatory phase is the first wound healing phase and lasts up to 5 days, but can vary somewhat from individual to individual and depending on the injury. The inflammatory phase is the body’s first reaction to an injury. It can be further divided into a vascular and a cellular phase. In the vascular phase, approximately up to the 2nd day, mainly coagulation takes place. That is, bleeding is stopped and vascular repair takes place. Furthermore, the immune defense is activated and pain occurs so that the injury area is automatically spared. In the cellular phase, the body begins to break down injured tissue and build up new tissue, initially of lower quality.

Pain, heating, redness, swelling and functional limitation are characteristics of an inflammatory phase.

Pain, heating, redness, swelling and a loss of function characterize the inflammatory phase. In this phase, it is recommended to stick to the “PEACE” concept, which we have explained in more detail in the blog PEACE & LOVE in case of injuries.

Protect – Elevation – Avoid – Compression Education

Proliferation phase

In the second phase of wound healing, which lasts approximately from the5th to the 21stday after the injury, new connective tissue continues to be formed in the injured area, which is supplied by the newly grown blood vessels. Initially, the new tissue is not yet as resilient as it was before the injury. In order for connective tissue fibers to align correctly and for the tissue to become more resistant again, the tissue must be subjectedto successive stresses during the proliferation phase. It should be stressed but not overstressed. In order for this to succeed, we follow the LOVE” concept.

Load – Optimism Vascularisation – Exercise

The aim of the proliferation phase is to make the tissue more resistant.

Remodeling phase

The last of the three wound healing phases is the remodeling or also called reconstruction/resilience phase. It can last up to a year after the injury. As the name implies, the new tissue adapts to the demands and continues to build up where it is required. It is also important that the rehabilitation of sports injuries is sport-specific. This is the only way to ensure that injured muscles become more resilient, bones stronger and soft tissues more flexible.

In order for this to happen, individually adapted training is needed. The loads should be increased gradually and for this purpose the “LOVE” concept can be followed further.

Load – Optimism – Vascularisation – Exercise

Bibliography

de Morree JJ. Dynamics of human connective tissue: function, damage and recovery. Urban & Fischer Verlag/Elsevier GmbH; 2. edition (18. February 2013).