Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

The Most Important Principle In Your Recovery Or Fitness Goals

March 19, 2020


Injuries mainly fall into the “when” not “if” category for a majority of Americans. These injuries could be the result of traumas (fracture, sprains, or strains), over use injury, and at times without a known cause. Thankfully our bodies are remarkable in their ability to heal from these injuries as we move through the 3 stages of healing (inflammatory, proliferative, and maturation/remodeling). Exercise is a critical part of your recovery from injury and has been shown to accelerate recovery from these muscle, tendon, bone, and joint injuries. Before beginning a rehabilitation program from an injury or a fitness program it is important to know the injured or healthy tissue’s baseline. Understanding the targeted tissue’s (bone, joint, ligament, tendon, or muscle) tolerance for activity and exercise allows you to move it forward gradually one step at a time.

The S.A.I.D. or specific adaptations to imposed demands principle helps explain how our bodies will respond to a given stimulus (Henry et al. 1958). Exercise can be considered an important stimulus or demand on the body’s tissues. Too little stimulation will not reach the physiologic threshold for improvement and too much can lead to breakdown instead of rebuilding of an injured tissue. Bone may be the easiest example to understand as appropriate exercise increases its’ density but excessive exercise without recovery leads to break down (stress reaction or stress fracture).

Exercise is a powerful force and heals and strengthens both injured and healthy tissue through mechanotransduction. The gradual progression of forces stimulates an injured, weak, or tight tissue to adapt to a higher level of function. We must gradually and continually ask more of our tissues through activity in order to return them to an optimal state. Unfortunately there is no quick fix or miracle cure, but thankfully patience and hard work pays off in the end. Be smart about your rehabilitation or training providing the right balance of demand and recovery. Look for guidance from a Physical Therapist when needed but your recovery and fitness goals are in reach, one step at a time.

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