You’ve followed your Physical Therapist’s plan to the letter and you’re on your way to recovering from injury.
Don’t experience any health-related setbacks along the way!
Even small injuries will take longer to heal if you’re ignoring basic needs like a balanced diet or adequate sleep.
Follow these guidelines to promote healing and fully recover from injury.
Proteins are the building blocks for tissue growth and repair.
As you recover, it’s critical that you eat enough protein.
Your daily protein intake should be 0.5 to 0.6 grams for each pound of your bodyweight. (For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should eat 100 to 120 grams of protein each day.)
As you plan your meals, remember that premium fuels mean premium performance and recovery.
Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to digest exact nutrients from our food.
While recovering, eat as cleanly as possible. You may even consider a paleo diet style, which includes fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish, and nuts.
The nutrients our body needs are found in these types of raw and organic foods — which we’ve eaten since the beginning of time.
Water comprises about 60 percent of your body’s overall mass and approximately 70 percent of your muscle mass.
Without adequate water intake, muscle, tendon, and ligament tissue will not properly recover.
Try drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water each day. (For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you’ll want to drink 90 ounces of water daily.)
If this seems like a lot, start with a minimum of 80 ounces each day and work your way up, if needed.
Movement is medicine. Therefore, it makes sense that exercise helps promote recovery from injury.
Exercises targeted at weak muscles help build strength and prevent future injury. They also promote increased production of growth hormone — which helps grow and repair tissue.
Additionally, stretches performed on tight tissues help correct the tightness and improve flexibility in joints that might not be moving well.
If you’re unsure about which exercises or stretches may be appropriate for your injury, a Physical Therapist can help you create a personalized plan
Your immune system plays a key role in tissue growth and recovering from injury.
Tissue growth occurs primarily when you sleep. It’s the time where “all hands are on deck” to help heal tissue. That said, both the depth and duration of your sleep are critical.
If you’re sleeping less than seven hours per night or aren’t getting quality sleep, your immune system can be measurably suppressed — impeding tissue growth.
For optimal recovery, aim for eight hours of quality sleep per night.
Your mental state plays a huge role in recovering from injury.
If the autonomic nervous system, or the body’s control center, isn’t regulating properly it may slow recovery.
The autonomic nervous system consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. (Flashback to middle school science class!)
The sympathetic system controls our “fight or flight” response during stressful situations. Chronic firing of this system response can cause inflammation and slow the recovery speed of injured tissue.
The parasympathetic system is what controls our ability to relax, or our “rest and digest” state. This is the system that helps us recover from injury.
While the advantages of technology and connectivity are undeniable, our constant focus on stimuli can leave us in a prolonged sympathetic state.
Take time each day to detach from your phone, laptop, and television. Time spent being present with family and friends can be beneficial for health and help you fully recover from injury.
Get Back to Doing What You Love.
If you would like a more personalized approach to recovering from injury, our Physical & Occupational Therapists can help.
Treatment is covered by insurance, no referral is required, and with flexible appointments you can find an appointment fast that works with your schedule.
Call 716-458-1990 or go here to schedule at one of our 12 locations throughout Western New York.