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The healing process: What Sam Bradford is going through

Oklahoman Modified: October 7, 2009 at 4:38 am •  Published: October 7, 2009
A sprained AC joint, like most injuries, requires gradual rehabilitation.

Here’s a look at what Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford likely did to help his shoulder heal:

Phase I
2-3 days "Inflammation Phase”

Goal: Control inflammation and pain


a) Ice for 20 minutes at a time.

b) Use Inferential Stimulator, expose injury to electric current to speed healing

c) Constant pain medication (Ibuprofen)

d) Immobilize

Phase II
3-7 days "Proliferation/Rejuvenation Phase”

Goal: Restore range of motion without pain


Heat therapy for 20 minutes at a time

Flexibility exercises (Example: holding door frame and leaning body weight forward)

More therapeutic modality for healing/blood flow (electric current)

Phase III
7-14 days "Remodeling Phase”

Goal: Restore strength/pre-injury cardiovascular levels


Heat therapy

Flexibility exercises

Specialized exercises, including some with free weights/light restriction (without pain) (Example: Theraband, or lifting a restrictive rubber band, some light throwing)

Phase IV
14 days-present "Maturation Phase”

Goal: Return to normal functioning


Heat therapy

Strength exercise

Sport-specific exercises (throwing)

Tape/pad while active

Ice for 20 minutes

Source: Jeff McKibbin, Graduate Athletic Training Education Program Director, University of Central Oklahoma