I talked last week about exercising while injured. But how do you minimize recovery time so that you’re literally up and running before you know it? Today we’re gonna talk about what you do immediately after you get injured so the healing process goes quickly.
As discussed last week, what you shouldn’t do is let the injury keep you from exercising long-term. Exercise is good for your body and mind. You need to learn from what happened, and make sure you don’t repeat the error. Once you’re healed, hopefully you can exercise pain-free going forward.
So let’s talk about how you make the most of the healing process? Here’s what you should do to minimize down-time from the injury. And get yourself moving again as soon as possible.
In most cases, the first thing you should do is rest to give the injured part of your body time to begin healing. There are some exceptions to this. With most neck injuries, a little gentle exercise will prevent it from stiffening and making the pain worse. Most other injuries need rest.
You might be desperate to get back to the gym or into your training again. But going back before the injury has properly healed will just cause more problems. Injuries can come back with very little pressure. And then you’ll be back to square one.
Unless your injury is an open wound, putting an ice pack on it can help to reduce the pain and any swelling. Don’t put ice directly next to your skin though! It can stick and cause even more pain. Wrap it in a towel first, and then apply it for 15 minutes every hour.
If you don’t think your injury is healing as it should, physical therapy or rehabilitation could be the answer. You’ll be taught some exercises specific for your injury. And they may give you treatment for the inflammation as well.
You don’t need to be incapacitated to benefit from physical therapy. These exercises are designed specifically to develop strength in the weakened areas that need it most. And you’ll probably receive home exercises too. When you practice daily, rehabilitation can really fast-forward the healing process.
Now, whether you can do this depends on the type of injury and where it is, If you’re able to elevate the injured body part above your heart, you can reduce swelling and removes toxic waste products from the injured area. This will help to make it less painful, and help speed recovery.
Heat is not something to apply to the injury straight away. Early on, it will make swelling worse. Wait for 3 or 4 days before you start with heat treatment. And then alternate it with the ice. Heat helps to stimulate blood flow, which helps carry nutrients to the affected area.
Compression can have the same effect as ice when it comes to reducing the swelling and inflammation. The best way to compress an injury is with an elastic bandage, It needs to be tight, but not so tight that it restricts blood flow.
Hopefully, your injury will heal before you know it. So be patient. And you’ll be back to your old self in no time!
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