Recovery From Injury
How to Heal Faster and Recover Better
It doesn’t matter how fit or healthy you are or how much of an athlete you are, sometimes things happen that can put your body and mind through a difficult time. If you have been unfortunate enough to end up with an injury as a result, it can be challenging to get back on track. You need to understand that even if your injury seems like it won’t go away, there is always hope. Simply, there are steps you can take to heal faster and recover better from any injury in the future.
A little self-awareness goes a long way when it comes to identifying symptoms of an injury early on and, if you can recognise an injury early on, you are able to pay attention to it. With this attention, you can address the issue before it gets worse. If you ask yourself the following questions they will guide you:
Is your body tight and sore?
If you are having pain in your muscles and joints, then you may have a soft-tissue injury. But don’t worry, most things you can ease quite easily.
If you are experiencing sore muscles a day or two post-exercising than there is a likelihood you are experiencing DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). DOMS are really nothing to worry about, but recommend you don’t go training those muscles again until they have recovered. DOMS can lead to a muscular strain if not given the time to recover.
If you feel pain but it doesn’t stop you from moving, then it is likely an issue with your mobility or flexibility. Mobility is the movement you have in your joints, and flexibility is the range of movement you have in your muscles. When the body is stiff, either due to DOMS or prolonged periods of sitting, or being overexerted, this can reduce your range of movement in both joints and muscles.
Whatever the reason, if your body is feeling tight and sore, and if you aren’t sure what is happening, then it is worth taking a step back and reviewing your training. This may give you insights into what has caused your injury, or indeed lack of movement that impacted it.
Is there any change in movement?
The hallmark of a serious, ongoing injury is the fact that you can’t move, run or train as you usually do. If you are struggling to get out of bed, get dressed, or engage in even the most basic activities, then you may have an injury that is restricting you. If you have a bad sprain, or you have torn a ligament in your joint, you need to stop moving that joint as soon as possible.
Rest is the key to healing, and you need to do it as soon as you notice that you can’t move as you normally would. If, however, there is a change in the way that you move, but you can’t tell whether it is because of an injury or because you have changed, then it is worth checking in with a professional. You may need to make adjustments to your training or diet to help your body recover from injury.
Does your injury come back every few weeks?
You may have an injury that seems to come back every few weeks. This can be a sign that you are not healing properly, and it can also be a sign that you are doing something incorrectly or that there is a slower healing injury. These types of injuries usually need rest, careful management, and a period of time when you don’t do anything strenuous to recover. For example, if you have been running regularly and your ankle has been injured, then there is a chance that it will come back every few weeks. Ligament injuries can take several months to feel like they are ‘back to normal’ yet tend to feel better after a few short weeks.
Take notice of whether there is a pattern to your injury reoccurring. Were you, for example, landing your foot incorrectly or rolling your foot in your shoe? You may need to change something you are doing to help support it whilst it recovers. This could be a new pair of running shoes to fit your gait, or if it is tendonitis like with carpel tunnel, giving your wrist support when it needs it.
Try these 3 tips to heal faster
Keep warm – you probably how noticed how much easier it is to move when you are warm, and that’s purely because when muscles become too cold, they won’t contract properly. The warmth gives your muscles elasticity but also opens up blood flow helping to remove any toxins in the area.
Strengthen your core – Strengthening your core can improve your posture and help you to maintain good mobility.
Don’t rush getting back into your full training regime – If you have been running or cycling, then take it easy getting back into it, even with heavy-weight training. This will allow your muscles to slowly build back their strength and not be pushed to the limit too soon, which is essential to their health.
Wrapping up – final words
If you have experienced an injury, there is a chance that it will come back again as generally speaking, an injury can cause a weakness in our bodies. However, you can build back your body’s strength and recover faster by doing the following:
Take care of your body and mind
Don’t train if you are injured or experiencing DOMS, or train a different part of your body
Strengthen your core and mobility
Weak areas will lead to injury, so make sure you don’t avoid certain exercises because they are hard – strengthen all areas
Ensure you are eating the right foods – protein aids muscle recovery; vitamin D and calcium for your bones and joints
The key is to keep your chin up and recognise that you are strong enough to get through any challenge that life throws your way. And above all, always get professional help if you need it.