Just Get Over It: Why Injury Recovery Is Rarely That Easy
Remember when you were a kid? You’d careen around the neighbourhood on your bike or roller skates at breakneck speeds and on those rare occasions that we did take a tumble, we’d shrug it off and get back on the proverbial horse that very same day. For better or for worse, when kids injure themselves their tissues are pliant enough that they’re able to recover in a matter of days from injuries which would likely hobble an adult for weeks.
As we reach adulthood, injuries become far more insidious and debilitating. Not only are our bodies less able to repair themselves later in life, but our responsibilities are hugely increased meaning that the consequences of injury become all the more grave. When you’re injured at the gym, at work or even on the street, it’s important to know how you can aid yourself in recovery.
The effects of injury
The initial pain and discomfort of injury are merely the tip of the iceberg. The physical and psychological effects of injury are far reaching and can severely derail your life in numerous ways. You may find yourself having to take time off work which can not only prove damaging to your household finances (especially if you employer is less than sympathetic) but erode your sense of self worth, especially if you have kids to provide for. You may even diminutize the effects of the injury even to yourself and in so doing risk exacerbating musculoskeletal conditions through attempting your normal everyday movements.
If you’ve been trying to get in shape for the sake of your health or appearance, the compromising effect this may have on your goals can take a psychological toll, especially if your lifestyle becomes more sedentary and you find yourself gaining weight.
The good news is that you can aid yourself in recovering quickly and comprehensively by making the right choices as quickly as possible.
Many of us (especially parents), feel the need to soldier on in the face of injury or adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude. Even if you feel no particular ill effects up to 24 hours after the point of injury you should seek medical advice as the extent of your injuries may not yet be apparent to you. Seek the help of your general practitioner who may refer you to a physiotherapist, osteopath or chiropractor. Some physiotherapists like Anzac Parade Physiotherapy may be able to help you to recover quickly without derailing your fitness goals. Combining your rehabilitative exercises with a low-impact regimen like pilates can be extremely effective in this.
The power of diet
Your body needs the right nutrients to combat inflammation and repair damaged tissue, so it’s important to resist the urge to comfort eat and load up on the healthy foods that will facilitate a quick recovery…
Antioxidants: Essential in combatting inflammation and improving central nervous system function. These are found in berries, cherries, turmeric, ginger, herbal teas and coffee beans.
Protein: Your muscles need protein to repair torn muscles and ligaments. Meat, eggs, dairy products and fish are the most obvious dsources, but if you’re vegan or vegetarian you can still load up on protein with beans, pulses and soybeans.
Vitamins A and C: Vitamin A combats infection while Vitamin C helps to maintain healthy bones, cartilage and connective tissue. Both can be found abundantly in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and Swiss chard.