Injury Recovery: 5 Factors That Impact Healing
Are you recovering from an injury?
Did you know that lifestyle factors can have an impact on your healing journey?
Biological factors including the type of structures involved and how damaged they are can help determine the average expected time to heal, but they aren’t the only things to consider. There are also a handful of things that are often overlooked when determining the length of time it may take to recover.
5 Factors That Impact Injury Recovery:
One major way that it impacts tissue healing is through its effects on blood flow. Smoking is known to damage smaller arteries and veins which in-turn has a negative impact on your body’s blood flow and therefore its ability to heal. We know quitting can be tough, but acupuncture can help ease this process and offer a higher chance of success.
What we eat, and how much or how little of it also impacts how our body recovers. If we don’t have the appropriate nutrients or enough of them available, our body will take longer to repair tissues, and the quality of those tissues could be compromised as well. If we are using more calories than we are taking in, our bodies switch into maintenance mode, making it difficult for it to recover from injuries, or adapt to new stressors. Nutrition plays a huge role in our bodies and its ability to heal.
How much we move, or don’t move also impacts how we recover. The unfortunate thing with this one is that it can be hard to dial-in. Too little activity and the body can become weak, bogged down, and unprepared for any stressors. Too much and we out-pace its ability to restore itself. So, aim for a balance of consistent, light to moderate levels of activity depending on one’s abilities. This allows us to keep pace with our body’s adaptation mechanisms while also supporting our body’s many processes that rely on movement, and therefore improving our overall health.
Our bodies recover most when we are sleeping. If we aren’t getting enough sleep, or the quality is lacking, recovery will be adversely impacted. Restless or interrupted sleep prevents us from getting into deep sleep which is where repair happens. And if you think about losing one hour of sleep a night, it doesn’t sound all that bad, but extend that one-hour loss out over a week and you’ve missed almost an entire night of sleep! Over a year, that adds up to roughly a month and a half of missed Z’s. Yikes!
In a similar way to physical activity, stress can be a double-edged sword. Too little of it and we lose our resilience, too much and we begin to break down. If we are chronically over-stressed, and anxious, our bodies get stuck in “fight or flight” mode and drain our reserves in order to survive. While this state is helpful in certain situations, it is not the place we want to be in full time if we want to thrive.
Ways to Accelerate Healing From an Injury
Overall, the key takeaway is supporting your body and finding balance for your recovery.
And of course, there are complimentary alternative health practices and tools that can help speed up your recovery as well. For instance, Acupuncture and Massage Therapy can be very effective in reducing symptoms and optimizing the body’s natural healing mechanisms, speeding up the time it takes for you to get back on your feet.
Remember to make sure the above health pillars are in check and see how quickly your injury can begin to heal.
If you’d like a helping hand getting there, we can help. We have dedicated practitioners well versed in rehabilitating the body and can help you in all of the categories listed above. Reach out to us and see how we can help you! Ready to book an appointment? View our availability online, here.