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What Happens When We Get Injured?
The musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues that work together to support and move the body by accepting and expressing force. Injuries to this system can happen in a variety of ways, ultimately all due to a force exceeding a tissue’s tolerance, whether this is a sudden traumatic incident or slow, repetitive trauma.
Examples of how injuries can occur in the musculoskeletal system:
Fractures: A fracture is a break in a bone. Fractures can happen due to trauma, such as a fall or a car accident, or due to slow repetitive cumulative trauma, such as in the case of stress fractures.
Sprains: A sprain is generally an injury to a ligament, which is the tissue that connects bones to other bones. Sprains can happen when a joint is twisted or stretched beyond its normal range of motion.
Tear or Strain: Usually an injury to a muscle or tendon, which is the tissue that connects muscle to bone. Strains happen when a muscle or tendon is overused, overpowered or stretched too far.
Tendinopathy: Generally there are considered to be 3 different stages of tendinopathy, reactive tendinopathy, tendon disrepair and degenerative tendinopathy. All occur through overloading either acutely, chronically or age related changes.
Dislocations: A dislocation occurs when a bone is forced out of its normal position at a joint. Dislocations can happen due to trauma, such as a fall or a car accident. Common areas for dislocations include the shoulder and kneecap, with other sites often involving fractures.
When a musculoskeletal injury occurs, the body initiates a series of events to repair the damage.
Four main stages of this are generally considered to be;
Hemostasis: The first phase of healing, begins at the onset of injury, and the objective is to stop the bleeding. In this phase, the body activates its emergency repair system, clotting the bleed a process known as aggregation.
Inflammatory stage: This is a natural response to injury and is the body's way of sending blood, nutrients, and immune cells to the site of the injury to begin the healing process. During inflammation, the injured area may become red, swollen, and painful.
Proliferation phase: During the proliferation phase, new cells begin to form at the site of injury. This includes the formation of new blood vessels, which bring oxygen and nutrients to the area, and the formation of new connective tissue cells.
Remodelling: Once new tissue has been formed, the body will remodel it to make it stronger and more functional. This process can take several months to a year or more, depending on the extent of the injury.
This article has been written by Adey,
BSc MCs MHCPC MCSP
Having worked in professional sport for over 10 years, which included the Rugby Premership and The English Football League, Adey has a wealth of experience with dealing with injury and rehabilitation in the sports world. His desire, commitment, people skills and knowledge are why he has a great reputation in the clubs and teams he has been involved with. Alongside working for RecoverFit, Adey also works in the military as a physiotherapist.
DISCLAIMER: The content provided in these articles is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. The advice and tips shared in these articles are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in these articles. The author and publisher of this blog are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any suggestions, recommendations, or procedures described in these articles.