What is the key to healing?

Do we think the key to healing comes from internal or external sources?

In other words, is it the body that heals itself, or is it the things that we put in our bodies that do the healing?

The truth of the matter is that blood flow is the key to healing.

This is the reason why some injuries will heal without the need for surgery or drugs.




Let’s take a look at the knee for example…

If you sprain your MCL (ligament on the inside of your knee), your body will be able to heal properly due to a healthy blood flow in that region. However, if you tear your ACL (ligament deep inside your knee), that will not heal due to a lack of blood flow to the area. There is more blood flow outside of the knee capsule that helps create healing. This also depends on the severity of the injury itself.  If you completely tear the ligament from the bone, you will have to have surgery to heal it.

Now some parts of the body have more blood flow than others and that is what helps improve the healing process. It does not matter if the injury happened recently or if it has been 20 years since the injury. Some injuries will alter the blood flow, which will delay healing.

The goal of therapy or anything to help healing, should be to improve blood flow. White blood cells are used to help improve and stimulate the healing process. In order to get white blood cells to the area, you need improved blood flow.

There are always exceptions to the rule…

In some cases too much blood flow can lead to increased swelling and increased pain. This is why immediately following an acute injury; we try to limit too much blood flow. The reason for this is sometimes, the body is too good at increasing blood flow and it goes into overdrive. This usually only occurs following recent injuries.

Everything that we do during physical therapy is to help improve blood flow to help decrease pain and kick start the healing process. It does not matter whether the injury is 2 weeks old or 20 years old.

Sometimes the body does not facilitate a strong enough response to an injury, and that leads to chronic pain. This is why our main goal is to improve blood flow to specific areas of the body.

We do this through hands-on therapy, dry needling, heat, and many more.



Some things you can do to help improve blood flow are:

  • Exercise
  • Hydrate appropriately
  • Get a massage
  • Manage stress appropriately
  • Stretching


If you have any questions, or want help healing those recent or chronic injuries, give us a call and talk to a therapist today.