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This is a question we get asked numerous times a day and a question that is tricky to answer. Every injury is different and the recovery time is relative to what the injury is, how severe the injury is, the location of the injury, your lifestyle, your approach to training with the injury, and how you approach injury management. 

What is an injury? 

In essence, you’ll know that an injury is damage to the body. This can include damage to various tissues within the body, such as the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones. Each tissue type has a different healing time frame which is due to the location, severity, and mechanism of the injury. There are a few conditions that could result in the healing time being longer than normal. These include your general health, condition of the tissues in your body, and your willingness to commit to a rehabilitation programme. 

Muscle Strains 

Muscle strains and tears can happen at different parts of the muscle. There are three grades of muscle strain and tear. 
 
Grade I – Less than 10% of the fibres are torn. This is commonly called overstretching. The healing time for Grade I injuries typically last 0-2 weeks if they aren’t aggravated. 
 
Grade II – 10-50% of the muscle fibres are involved. This is called a partial tear. Grade II injures typically take 4-8 weeks, depending on their severity. 
 
Grade III – Over 50% of the fibres are involved. This is called a complete rupture. For the most severe muscle injuries, Grade III, it can 2-3 months to heal. 

Tendon 

Tendon strains and tears have a similar grading system to muscles. However, their healing times are very different. 
 
Grade I – Less than 10% of the fibres are torn and this is commonly called overstretching. 
 
Grade II – 10-50% of the fibres are involved and this is called a partial tear. 
 
Grade III – Over 50% of the fibres are involved and this is called a complete rupture. 
 
Healing times are a bit more subjective to the level of injury to the tendon. 
 
Acute: 2 – 4 weeks 
 
Sub-acute: 2 – 4 months 
 
Chronic: 3 – 9 months 
 
Rupture: 4 – 12 months 

Ligament 

When the ligaments are overstretched or twisted beyond their normal limits, the ligaments can be damaged, and this is known as a sprain. Again, they are categorised the same as muscles and tendons. 
 
Grade I – Ligaments are stretched or slightly torn, with around 0-3 weeks healing time. 
 
Grade II – Ligaments are partially torn and, in this instance, can take 6-12 weeks to heal. 
 
Grade III – Ligaments are completely torn and heavily depending on the severity can take 3-12 months to heal. 

Bone 

People break bones in all kind of ways, either in a sport context or from an accidental form. Bones are strong; however, they do have limits to how much force they can withstand. 
 
Healing time: A broken bone needs a minimum of 6 – 8 weeks to heal. 

What can I do now? 

Do you have an old injury or niggle that does not seem to settle or keeps flaring up? Do you have aches or pains that don’t seem to be getting any better? Are you currently training through pain? The first thing you should do is stop. Your injury will take longer and may never recover properly if you keep training through it, no matter how keen you are. 
 
If you believe you’re suffering from an injury or haven’t quite recovered the way you expect, then get in contact with one of the therapists at Fire & Earth and we can help you out. Together you’ll be able to reduce the pain, become injury free, and reduce the likelihood of further injury or reinjury. 
Tagged as: healing, injury, recovery, strains
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