The nutrient demand on a simple musculoskeletal injury increases by at least 20 to 25 percent. An injured person will need to increase their proteins as they synthesize proteins to make immunoglobulins. With the correct type and quantity of nutrients, your immune system can actually work properly to break down the damaged tissue and/or repair tissue to a normal, healthy state.
Improper healing and remodeling of tissue would be considered scar tissue. Scar tissue does not have the same physical properties as normal tissue and, therefore, does not let the body perform in the same manner.
Trauma, whether it’s skeletal or otherwise, such as a sprained ankle, an injured back, a broken arm, or whatever it may be, imposes one of the highest load demands on energy utilization. So, without a doubt, you must increase energy production in all ways possible when you are injured.
During times of injury or trauma, our energy demands go up, and our need for cellular synthesis goes up as well. We must remove damaged tissue through waste elimination and replace it with new, healthy tissue.
THE TWO TO FOUR WEEK WINDOW
There is a two to four-week window, known as the acute/sub-acute phases. The acute phase (1st and 2nd week) is critical for removal of some injured tissue and for beginning of repair work for damaged tissue. During the sub- acute phase (3rd and 4th week), the body is repairing and remodeling new tissue that is to be used by the body for healing. If the injury is muscular in nature, the body remodels muscle tissue in this phase.
These first four weeks are clearly the most critical to the long-term injury outcome. This is why you should seek treatment immediately if you are injured. If you start to remodel muscle using scar tissue, your performance will decrease.
We’ve mentioned this earlier; scar tissue doesn’t have the same contractile force as muscle tissue. It doesn’t have the same stretch-ability or pliability, and you are liable to experience another injury while your performance continues to decline. This is why it is so important to address nutritional demands directly after injury. This acute/sub-acute phase is a critical time when the immune system clearly needs to be supported. The injury also needs to be treated properly and promptly to reduce the risk of the acute injury becoming chronic.
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