Recovering from an injury? Here’s how to make it go faster

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When fall is around the corner and temperatures start to mellow, you may feel as though outdoor exercise will be comfier. If an injury is stopping you from getting out and about, your fall fitness plans could be at risk.

Few injuries last forever, but that doesn’t make them any less frustrating when you’re trying to recover. With some simple tips, you can return to exercise in no time.

Understand your injury recovery time

Understanding your injury recovery time helps you to set realistic expectations. If you find that you’re getting closer to your recovery time and nothing is changing, it also prompts you to approach a doctor.

If you’re recovering from a minor muscle injury or small fracture, you could recover in a matter of weeks or a couple of months. In contrast, injuries to tendons, ligaments, and significant fractures take between a few months to a year.

In the case of larger injuries, always ask your medical team for advice. Trauma and orthopedic surgeons, plus physiotherapists, are adept at providing realistic timelines.

Treat your immune system to some TLC

Your immune system isn’t there to tackle colds and infections alone. It governs the initial tissue healing process and oversees a lot of the activities afterward.

To boost your immune system, check-in with your current diet. If you’re not eating enough berries or green leafy vegetables, start adding more in. Drinking smoothies allows you to do so without too much inconvenience.

In addition to tweaking your diet, reduce your exposure to stressful situations. When stressful situations can’t be avoided, try using meditation and more sleep. Minimizing stress is important, as chronic bouts weaken your immune system and prolong your recovery period.

Maximize your sleeping efforts

You’re probably already aware that your body undergoes a lot of healing while you sleep. If you regularly feel tired during the day, question whether you’re getting enough slumber.

If you’re not regularly grabbing between seven and nine hours per night, look at where you can make adjustments. Some common techniques to try include:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
  • Spend at least 15 minutes outside each day to reset your circadian rhythm.
  • Avoid alcohol so that your neurotransmitters remain balanced.
  • Cut out caffeine in the afternoon to balance your energy levels.

If sleep continues to be a problem despite your efforts, make an appointment with your family doctor.

Get moving, within reason

Although there was once a time when moving with an injury was frowned upon, now the medical world knows better. Moving your joints prevents them from stiffening and losing their function. Weight-bearing exercise is also a reliable way to build bone density.

Following an injury, it’s normal to feel some discomfort. However, it’s safe to move through discomfort, providing you’re not pushing against pain. If you’re ever unsure about your approach, make sure you ask a physiotherapist for guidance.

Most importantly, make sure you follow your medical team’s recovery plan. With their expertise and your efforts, you’ll be back to exercising in no time.

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About the Author

Laura McKeever
Laura has been a freelance medical writer for eight years. With a BSc in Medical Sciences and an MSc in Physician Assistant Studies, she complements her passion for medical news with real-life experiences. Laura’s most significant experience included writing for international pharmaceutical brands, including GSK.