Many of us have experienced a time when we have been injured and are not sure how to proceed. Whether it is a sports-related injury, injury from an accident, or a simple sprained ankle, it can be hard to know what we should do to recover. Recovery is a delicate process, and there is a balance that we must strike to make certain that we are keeping ourselves active while not impeding the healing process. There are many competing ideas about recovering from injury online. Recovery can be a confusing and anxious time for many people, especially when we have never experienced an injury before or if it seems to be getting worse.
It can be hard to know if we are doing more harm than good as we try to help our bodies heal. Fortunately, there are a few proven ways that we can allow our bodies to rest without impeding our daily activities. However, things such as back and neck injuries do take time and may require more rest and downtime than other types of injuries. Keep in mind that taking time to allow for proper healing is not a negative thing; it is merely something that is necessary for your recovery. There are several things that you can do to help speed your recovery along and soothe your symptoms.
A common phrase that you might have seen on various posters at the gym or on athletic shirts meant to be inspiring is “Pain is just weakness leaving the body”. This is categorically untrue. After an injury, you should take great care to make certain that nothing is causing greater pain. Once you realize that an injury has occurred, stop what you are doing and ice the area to prevent swelling. Treating swelling can prevent further discomfort until you can determine whether or not you should see a doctor. In addition, taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen can also be helpful for pain management and swelling (however, you should first consult your doctor to make sure that you are able to take anti-inflammatory drugs).
If you determine that you have injured yourself severely enough, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your general care practitioner and your chiropractor. They will be able to help you determine the severity of the injury. While your general care practitioner will be able to prescribe any pain medication that might be necessary and refer you to a physical therapist if needed, your chiropractor will be able to adjust the injured area for a non-invasive treatment to help boost your recovery. Your chiropractor may also be able to recommend stretches and exercises to help you strengthen the affected area and release the tension that might have built up upon injury.
Massage is also a fantastic way to encourage recovery. Besides the immediate soothing relief that a massage offers, it also helps to improve circulation. In cases such as slipped discs, which can also include a pinched nerve as a symptom, it can help to relieve the pain and return feeling when numbness from a pinched nerve sets in. Getting a massage can also help the muscles to relax, which will allow for an easier adjustment from your chiropractor. Receiving a massage and adjustment consecutively is an excellent way to relieve pain and encourage healing.
As you move along your recovery timeline, it is essential to know when to rest and when not to. Your first instinct might be to push through the pain and force yourself to be active. While a little pain and stiffness are to be expected as you get back to your regular routine, if you are in a great deal of pain, you should stop what you are doing immediately to prevent exacerbating your injury. Your daily routine should not hurt, and you are not weak for allowing your body to heal. It takes time for our bodies to recover, and it is entirely normal and respectable to take care of your body as you convalesce.
Conversely, it is important to know when you should move forward with more activity. Speak with your general care practitioner, chiropractor or physical therapist to determine what your recovery timeline should be. Once this is determined, establish a routine for yourself. Do your exercises and stretches first thing in the morning to help you build up the good habit of keeping up with your recovery routine. If you think something doesn’t feel right, stop and call your doctor. It can be difficult to know what certain exercises should feel like as you recover and there is no harm in asking to be sure that you are not causing further injury.
Along with stretching and exercising, utilizing supports will greatly help you in your recuperation. Back braces are wonderful for supporting your back and making certain that you heal properly, as well as offering posture correction. Braces are available for most common injury areas, and they are great both for keeping you from further injury by overuse and keeping swelling down. Supports can also help your recovery to go faster, as well as helping you heal to be stronger in the end. Just be careful to continue to exercise even if you are using a support, so that your body does not come to fully rely on it.
Injuries can be difficult to deal with. They are painful physically and emotionally, and it can be difficult to deal with without feeling weak or inadequate. As you go through your recovery process, make certain to check in with your physician. They will help you to navigate your unique situation with a personalized plan. Remember that asking for help and taking time to heal does not indicate a lack of fortitude, but is instead a sign that you are doing all that you need to ensure that you are able to fully recover as quickly as possible. Rest, physical therapy, and necessary medication are all wonderful options that can help you recover if properly balanced.