Tips for Recovering from an Injury
Recovery takes time. It might be frustrating to feel that an injury is having a negative effect on your physical and mental health, but patience is vital. However, there are some practical ways to boost your recovery time. No matter what caused your injury, trying to heal yourself too quickly can simply result in making your injury worse. That will make it even harder to recover, so it’s vital that you take your time, learn to be patient, and prevent your enthusiasm for health from making the problems worse. If you want to help your body recover from injuries, then these tips could see you back to your pre-injury health levels before you know it.
For soft tissue injuries, RICE is the key. That’s not the food; it’s an acronym that stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Injuries to your soft tissues mean that you will suffer from swelling, warmth, and redness. Cold therapy using ice is highly recommended, especially in the early stages, immediately following your injury. Use a soft bandage to help reduce your swelling, and if possible, keep your injury elevated. The point of RICE is to not only help better control the issue of inflammation but help to aid your recovery. Start the healing process as early as possible, and your recovery time can be vastly reduced.
Deal with Stress
Your healing process will slow down if you allow stress to take over your emotions. When we get stressed, our bodies release hormones that will, ultimately, interfere with our healing. Stress hormones are known to impair the overall movement of your immune cells, and that reduces their effectiveness when it comes to removing damaged tissue. Of course, stress can also have a dramatic effect on your ability to get a good night’s sleep, a vital component of your recovery strategy. Look for ways to reduce your stress levels, and your body will repair itself much more quickly. Don’t underestimate the need to recover from your injury in terms of your mental health as much as your physical health.
For minor injuries like sprains or muscle tears, you should expect your recovery to take around two weeks. If your recovery is taking longer than that then you need to understand why. Consult with your doctor or a sports therapist. The more that you understand your injury, the easier it will be to construct a healing plan that will work, and your rehabilitation will be vastly improved. Knowing exactly what your injury has done to your body is essential, for both your recovery time and your mental health.
Know your Medication
If your injury is severe enough to require medication, then you need to know exactly what that medicine will do to your body. While medical help to aid your recovery can be beneficial, it’s important that you understand just how a variety of medicine will affect each other. If you’re taking more than one type of medicine, they can interact and slow down your recovery, or even put you at risk. If you are using CBD and other medicines, know your dosages and be aware of how CBD can affect other types of medication. If you’re not sure about how your choice of medicines might affect each other, talk to your doctor.
Don’t jump straight into the gym just because your pain levels have decreased. This is where patience is going to be vital. When you feel comfortable enough with your injury and you feel that you are capable of less restricted movement, slowly integrate motion exercises into your daily schedule. It is highly recommended that you make use of a trained physiotherapist at this point. If you are still restricted in the motion of your joints then excessive movement can set back your recovery time, and even cause further injury.
Eat Well and Wisely
Almost everyone knows that a healthy diet can speed up the recovery time after an injury., but far too few people actually understand what that means. The right diet is vital for your recovery, but that might not mean a drastic menu change. The best foods to focus on are those that will help your body help itself. The best ways to help your body are:
- Boost your gut flora: Maintaining your immune system is very dependent on the bacteria in your gut. Those florae produce white blood cells, as well as the all-important vitamin K that your body needs for healing. Look for foods like garlic, onions, bio-yogurt, chickpeas, and high fiber foods like oats, apples, and flaxseeds.
- Source Vitamin D: This helps to regulate your gut flora, and while you can boost your vitamin D levels by spending more time in the sun, you should also include more of it in your diet. It’s a good idea to get your doctor to test your levels of vitamin D, as they may suggest using a supplement. However oily fish and even egg yolks can boost your vitamin D.
- Avoid excessive sugar: Sugary foods will only cause an increase in inflammation, as well as reduce your stores of vitamin C and zinc. Switch up those sugary snacks for protein-based options
- Go green: Leafy vegetables are amazing for injury recovery, largely due to the high level of antioxidants like vitamins C, E, and even zinc. Broccoli and spinach are highly valuable, but mix things up with some cabbage, kale, and herbs like parsley.
- Plenty of protein: Our bodies are largely built out of protein, so it makes sense that you should include plenty of it in your diet if you’re trying to recover from an injury. It’s a good idea to ensure that every meal you eat has some protein included. Look at recipes that have eggs, fish, poultry, rice, lentils, or quinoa.
It can be frustrating, but any period of rest or lack of use is going to result in muscle wasting. This will even affect the parts of your body that aren’t injured. It’s important that you put as little stress on your injury as possible. The more that you focus on a full recovery, the quicker you will be able to return to your health and fitness regime, and regain what you have lost. Remember, trying to do too much too fast will only result in further complications.