The body lays down collagen in the injured and torn tissues in a random and unorganized formation. Under a microscope, muscle and tendon fibers are oriented in a parallel formation, which allows them to stretch and snap back to their resting length.
When collagen and inflammation occur, cross-linking and scarring perpendicular to the tissues also occurs, and this will limit the amount of elasticity and stretch in those tissues.
It is imperative that the tissues be taken through their entire range of motion to minimize the amount of scarring and cross-linking that occurs in order to maintain full range of motion.
This is why chiropractic is incredibly effective at helping with whiplash and sprain/strain related disorders. Chiropractic takes the individual joints and tissues of the spine through their full ranges of motion as those tissues are healing, effectively reducing and breaking up any scar tissue before it can contract.
Accepted literature supports that most muscular sprain/strain injuries should heal within 6-8 weeks. It is also well understood that muscle heals faster due to its rich blood supply.
Ligamentous injuries (e.g. disc injuries, tendon injuries, and ligaments) can take up to 24 months or longer to heal, as they lack those same healing properties as muscles.
The big take home from my blog today is that car accidents can lead to serious injuries even if you do not notice pain immediately after. It is always best to be examined and have a thorough history taken to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome after being injured.
At Northwest Injury Clinics, we have a decade of experience helping people who are in pain after a car accident. Whether you have minor or serious injuries, we can help.