Sports and exercise are some of the essential physical activities you do for healthy living. They help reduce health risks, strengthen your muscles and bones, improve your mental faculties, and potentially extend your lifespan.
However, as you engage in them, you will inevitably experience injuries down the line. Even with all the preparation and safety precautions in the world, the risk of getting one is never zero.
The rate of recovery varies depending on the severity of the injury. Some can heal after a couple of weeks, while others might take years to recover. However, knowing the right things to do while recovering can speed up the healing process and prevent complications.
If you or someone you know wants to learn how to bounce back from injuries quicker, here are the things you should and shouldn’t do while recovering.
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As we’ve mentioned, no two people recover from injuries at the same rate. However, the following steps can ramp up the healing process:
Get An Exercise Program Approved By A Professional
As you recover from an injury, it’s imperative that you still get some exercise. Maintaining your mobility can help reduce inflammation, which is the main obstacle to quick healing. However, you need to make sure the routine you’ve set for yourself doesn’t end up worsening your injury. That’s why it helps to work on an exercise plan with your trusted physician. You can also consult an expert in Chelsea physical therapy or one close to your area. These care practitioners specialize in rehabilitative programs. So, you can count on them to help you develop an exercise routine tailored to your needs.
Stay Active And Continue Doing Your Favorite Activities
Some people find themselves dropping their daily routines after experiencing an injury, especially when it’s quite severe. This includes essential activities such as going on walks or doing chores around the house. This is natural; the first few days and weeks after getting injured are when the affected area is at its most painful. The fear of making that worse discourages injured people from moving around.
It’s a given that your lifestyle will change drastically as a result of your injury. You’ll miss out on a lot of things, like your social life or your professional work. However, most health experts would still encourage getting up, doing whatever chores you can, or moving around the house. This is because staying active maintains normal blood circulation, muscle strength, and bone integrity. You need all of these to return to normal function once you recover.
If you don’t know how to go about maintaining your daily living activities, you can consult your doctor or therapist. They can recommend making adjustments to your tasks or living environment to make moving around easier and safer for you. Then, you can reach out to friends or family to help you make those adjustments.
Eat Healthy And Take Supplements
Getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients is vital for a speedy recovery. Talk to your doctor or a licensed dietitian to create a diet plan tailored to your needs. You can also look up healthy recipes online. If maintaining a healthy diet seems challenging, you can ask your partner, family member, or friend to lend you a hand with preparing your food every day.
According to studies, the following vitamins and nutrients are essential for recovery:
- Protein is a key component in the muscle and tissue-building processes of your body.
- Omega-3 fatty acids help improve recovery and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin C reduces swelling and helps the body produce collagen to rebuild damaged tissues.
- Calcium is needed for bone growth and repair.
- Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption.
Sometimes, your diet may not cover all your nutritional needs. If that’s the case for you, vitamin supplements are always an option. Just remember that these aren’t meant to be substitutes for treatment. Stay on the safe side by asking your doctor for recommendations on what supplements to take.
Know When To Use Heat Packs Or Ice
As mentioned before, the first days following an injury can be the worst. Relieving the pain will be your top concern along with keeping the affected area protected. Aside from taking painkillers, what else should you do?
Your doctor may advise you to apply ice every few hours, not heat, on the affected area in the first three days. Heat actually increases circulation, making the swelling worse.
Once the swelling and discoloration subside, you can start alternating heat packs with ice. Both of these can ease the lingering pain as you regain your strength and range of motion bit by bit.
Of course, different injuries require different forms of treatment and pain relief. Remember to follow your physician’s advice to achieve optimal results.
After knowing what you can do to improve your recovery, you should also know what to avoid to maintain your progress. Let’s break down two of them:
Don’t Wait For The Swelling To Subside
Some people recovering from injuries prefer not to follow the activity routine set by their doctors immediately. They might do this believing they have to wait for the swelling to decrease first.
But the truth is that maintaining mobility is key to reducing swelling. The body needs it to keep circulation normal and tissues pliable. Only by maintaining the regular transport of fluid and nutrients can the inflammation response run its course. This, in turn, will return your tissues to normal much sooner.
Consult your physician or therapist for ways to maintain mobility while treating swelling. Seek critical care if it refuses to go down after a week or gets worse.
Don’t Be Afraid To Communicate
Another common mistake most people make is not keeping in touch with their doctor or therapist regularly. For some people, this may stem from health-related anxiety. They may simply have dire expectations about their situation and fear learning more. Or, they might have dire expectations about their situation and fear learning more.
Other people also avoid maintaining contact because they’re afraid of incurring high medical bills. This is an understandable concern nowadays.
However, it should be noted that constant communication is key to the success of any care plan. Patients should keep their trusted care practitioners notified about the progress of their treatment to know if they took the right steps. It’s also the only way for them to get complications treated before they turn serious and require more intensive treatment. In this light, staying in contact with your trusted healthcare practitioners actually helps you save money and peace of mind in the long run.
If you feel anxious about consulting or visiting a doctor or therapist, you can always have a loved one or friend help you. You’ll find most professionals to be empathetic to your plight and willing to reach out to you wherever you are physically, mentally, or emotionally.
Getting injured is a pain in more ways than one. So, if you want to bounce back as quickly as possible, consider following the do’s and don’ts above. Never forget to listen to your body and rely on trustworthy advice. After all, you deserve to live the best life you can imagine for yourself. Take the right steps today.