Soft Tissue Damage

Tendons and ligaments need special care if injured to heal completely. Most physicians will treat these with hot and cold treatments, anti-inflamatory pain killers and/or cortisone injections.

Soft Tissue Damage

In many cases, this is the complete antithesis of what they should be doing. It is all wrong. The inflammation process that they are blocking is the signal to the brain that a repair needs to be made. One should not block this during the initial stages of injury recovery.

Some physicians have recognized this and even started a treatment technique based on this called prolo-therapy. This therapy actually causes inflammation by local injection of a proliferant to re-initiate the inflammation and re-start the healing.

In sum, this is not a bad technique, but not surprisingly, it is extremely painful. There is a simpler way to accomplish this recovery and treatment and it is much more supportive of the body’s natural healing methods. Once again, a transdermal herbal gel can accomplish the goals of:

  1. Relieving the symptoms
  2. Fixing the problem
  3. Helping the body to heal

Tendons attach muscles to bones and ligaments hold bones and tendons in place. Fascia guides muscle groups and allows them to slide over other structures. All of these body parts share some commonality. Most notably, they all mainly consist of collagen.

This means that when they get damaged or excessively worn, they need to be repaired by fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts are little elastic-tissue factories in your body that combine a couple of amino-acids with a vitamin C molecule to produce a protein called collagen.

The activity levels of the fibroblasts are controlled by an enzyme that is produced in your liver. Your brain orders the production of these enzymes when it receives signals that there is damage somewhere in your body. The signal that triggers this succession of events is what we call a local inflammation.

Your brain takes the clue from pain in a region to determine that it is time to turn up the fibroblast activity in that region. It then signals the release of the enzyme from your liver.

In most injuries, there are little blood clots that form in the connective tissues. These micro-obstructions block the flow of nutrients and vital repairing constituents to the region. These blockages inhibit the repair. As we age, more of the small micro-capillaries in these tissues are also blocked with plaques. Massaging the damaged tissues can help clear these blockages, but there is also a great deal that can be gained by applying some simple herbs to the region.

Herbs to support healing

Arnica Montana is a lovely yellow flower that grows in the Rockies, blooming in late July. Its name means “lamb-skin of the mountains” because the leaves are as soft as lamb skin. There are other types of Arnica (about 4) and they are all quite useful.

Enzymes within Arnica break-up micro-clots in damaged tissues and are important enablers in the healing process. Arnica also contains constituents called prostaglandin blockers that relieve pain. When this is combined with the natural salix of White Willow Bark the pain relief is terrific.

Of course, the ability to break up micro-clots also means that the bruising will dissipate more quickly and you will get greater lymphatic and blood flow to the region. Enhancing the blood and lymphatic flow is essential to promote sound healing.

Comfrey and Plantain contain a constituent called Allantoin that actually stimulates the fibroblasts (the little collagen factories) and stimulates them to produce more collagen.

By continually applying this to damaged tissue (ligament, tendon, fascia or bone), the process of repair will continue for as long as you keep applying it.

If you apply these two herbs to a soft tissue injury for 4 or 6 weeks, a very complete repair can be generated long after the pain and inflammation are gone. This is a very important point and is worthy of repeating.

As we age, complete repairs take longer. What an 18 year-old-body can repair in two weeks can take a 60 year-old body two months to complete. As long as you keep applying these herbs, the repair will continue.

That makes this combination an extraordinary tool in maintaining our continually and naturally aging bodies.

Rosemary and Thyme increase circulation when applied to tissues and Witch Hazel increases flexibility. This is very important when tissues are healing as the injured area can hold residual trauma.

Residual trauma immobilizes portions of muscles and this increases the load on adjacent fibers, putting them more at risk of damage. The increased circulation facilitated by the Rosemary and Thyme also allows more nutrients to the cells that are rebuilding. It is not possible to build collagen without nutrients.

If you put all of these herbs together, with a little vitamin C for collagen production, and a little peppermint leaf for soothing, you have a wonderful combination to facilitate complete healing of soft tissues.

You can make a water decoction of these herbs and apply them to the damaged area several times per day or put the decoction in a gel so that it can be easily applied and rubbed into the skin.

This will make your damaged tendons, ligaments and fascia as-good-as-new after an injury and will actually reduce recovery time dramatically. Knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, shoulders will all benefit. The important thing to remember is to use it long after the pain stops to complete and maintain the repair.

Healing Times

Children and young-adults tend to heal rather quickly and so a single 200ml tube of the gelled decoction is usually sufficient for a specific injury. The process will take only 2 to 4 weeks.

Nevertheless, as already mentioned, as we age, it takes much longer for us to heal. We have found that most people in their 30s and 40s need a minimum of 6 weeks.

For those in their 50s and 60s, the required healing time is about 8 weeks. For those over 60, I suggest that people use the gel until the pain has been gone long enough for them to forget to put the gel on. The suggested application is 3 times per day to fully coat the area.

Support the repair process by oral administration of vitamin C, D, E and A. Don’t forget to stay away from anti-inflammatory medicines. They terminate the repair process prematurely and are unnecessary if you use these herbs as directed. The Bruise, Strain & Tear Repair™ is a gel-based version of this healing concoction.