White Tissue VS Red Tissue

White tissue vs. red tissue

What's the difference and why does one take longer to heal than the other?

If you ever hear the phrases “white tissue” or “red tissue” all it's referring to is a very basic classification of things like muscle (red tissue) and things like tendons, ligaments, and cartilage (white tissue).  Red tissue is red for the most obvious reason you can imagine...increased blood flow, whereas white tissue has less blood flow.

Now you may be thinking “why is this important to know?” there isn't a ton that is applicable as much to you guys as clients.  However the main reason I wanted to bring this up is just some understanding from an injury standpoint.  More serious injuries often occur at the white tissue (ACL tears, MCL tears, meniscus tears, ect.) and take longer to heal.  This happens for a few reasons;

  1. White tissue is often taking all the force for muscle activity. 

    1. Think about it, how often to you hear “torn quad muscle” or “torn calf muscle”, you don't, you always hear “patella tendon injury” or “torn achilles” things along those line.  Thats because, in the calf for example, that large muscle attaches to a tendon that at its narrowest point probably has about the same diameter as a quarter.  That is most often the case for most of the similar connections in the body.  

  2. White tissue has less blood flow.

    1. We said above that red tissue is red more so because of the increased blood flow, this is a large reason a pulled muscle will recover relatively quickly.  Whereas a sprain often takes weeks to heal based on severity. 

So if you have a sprain, are dealing with a meniscus tear, ect.  Give it some time, it will heal, it just takes a little longer. 

Coach Adam

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