EXERCISE – Optimising Injury healing

Soft tissue damage comes about through a traumatic event such as a kick, a sudden forceful action, over-stretching or through overuse. The injured area then goes through a healing process, which is divided into three broad but overlapping phases: inflammation, repair and remodelling. It is important to be aware of these stages of healing to understand what exercise/s may be helpful, or harmful, at each stage.

Inflammatory Phase (acute)

The goal during this stage is to prevent disruption of the new tissue formation, and to avoid prolonged inflammation and disturbance of new blood vessel and collagen production. This is where the principal of R.I.C.E comes in:

  • R= restrict activity to allow the healing process to begin for 48-72hrs
  • I= ice should be applied for 15-20 minutes every 60-90 minutes
  • C= apply compression such as an elastic bandage
  • E= elevate the injured area to keep swelling to a minimum

After two days, gentle pain-free movement of the injured muscle or joint may be started. The injury will be stabilising and the movement will help to stimulate the healing process without causing further damage.

Repair Phase (sub-acute)

During this phase the body produces new tissue to fill the gap caused by the injury, which leads to formation of a scar consisting mostly of collagen fibres. Resiliency of this new tissue is low. Repair of the weakened injury site can take up to 6-8 weeks if the proper amount of restorative stress is applied, or longer if too much or too little stress is applied. The goal with exercise during this stage therefore is to balance gradually applying low load stresses to allow increased collagen synthesis and prevent loss of joint motion or formation of adhesions, whilst avoiding disruption of the newly formed collagen fibres.

Remodelling Phase (late stage)

This phase starts from between 6 and 12 weeks and continues for months. The collagen fibres that have been laid down now undergo remodelling which strengthens them. Progression of exercises stretches, strengthens and stresses the new scar tissue, which stimulates additional new tissue to help strengthen and support the healing tissue until it meets the demands of your normal exercise or physical function. Progressive tissue loading also allows improved collagen fibre alignment and fibre hypertrophy.


Progression from one phase to the next depends on many factors including extent of tissue damage, age, co-existing health issues and your specific needs and demands of sport and work. Your physio is an expert in the diagnosis and management of soft tissue injuries and the best technique for your specific injury and phase of healing.

We are Hiring!

Queenstown Physiotherapy – Full-time permanent position

For the first time in years, we are looking for a full time permanent staff member to welcome to our team. We are a busy central Queenstown clinic with several experienced clinicians and great access to a wide range of outdoor activities.

What we offer:

  • Great remuneration based on level of experience
  • Regular working hours rostered between 7am – 7pm Mon-Fri and 9am-5pm Sat
  • 35-37.5 hours per week
  • In-house monthly in-services
  • Weekly one-on-one sessions with experienced clinicians (as required)
  • After a year with the team we offer financial contribution to APC, PNZ, and external courses

Who we are looking for:

  • Preference will be given to someone with 3+ years of MSK private practice experience however for the right candidate, we could assist with training someone with less.
  • A physio with great hands-on skills
  • Someone looking to get involved in the Queenstown community.

For further questions regarding this position, please contact either Deborah or Paul at deborah@queenstownphysiotherapy.com or paul@queenstownphysiotherapy.com

Candidates can apply with a cover letter and CV to rehab@queenstownphysiotherapy.com

Come experience the delights of Queenstown

Queenstown Physiotherapy requires a full time physiotherapist to cover maternity leave. This would be an ideal sabbatical  opportunity for someone. See the link below




Queenstown accident prone

Last week ACC announced that Queenstown is the most accident prone town in NZ and skiing the most at risk activity so to be able to keep you on the slopes we have opened Sundays too.


We are now open 7 days. Making sure you can get treatment when is convenient for you.