RECOVERY & RELIEF
When accidents happen, they do so indiscriminately!
No one is safe, and for some, there is no preparation that could help. This is a real-world problem for anyone and everyone. Nowadays we all have to be concerned about our bodies and have to make sure that they’re in shape and well cared for. The question becomes ‘what do we do when something does happen?’’ What steps can we take to help the process of recovery?
While it’s true that not everyone is a professional athlete that has multiple therapists on staff to ensure their body is in top shape; each of us feels the effects of injury the same way. Just like a downhill biker who can’t get back on the bike won’t make their sponsors too happy, if you miss a few days work, or your mobility is limited people will notice.
Physical injuries are the easiest for people to see, understand, and seek help for. Although many put off treatment for far too long, in the hopes that it’ll ‘go away on its own’. Yes, it’s true some problems may naturally correct themselves, but, it’s important to understand that each problem has to be assessed individually.
How does an injury impact your life?
Most of us don’t have to deal with full broken bones or ruptured spleens, maybe more of a tweaked wrist or rolled an ankle. The severity or grandness of any one type of injury/trauma isn’t the most important factor to look at, but rather the level of impact it can have in your everyday life. A Carpal Tunnel injury for an office worker can be equally as disruptive as a knee injury to a cyclist; both affect the person’s ability to perform their required tasks. This wrist injury on a new mother may hamper her strength in holding her own child. Each injury varies on a physical scale but equally devastating to the individual person.
Day to day we rely heavily on our bodies without much thought; it isn’t until injury or illness happens that we really take notice. In the same way that we take our cars in for oil changes once the light comes on, or only book the appointment for vehicle inspection when the check engine light appears.
A diet that is high in acidity will increase inflammation
We need to work on not just accepting something that’s not right because it’s ‘not that big of a nuisance’. A small problem today, left untreated could cause a bigger problem tomorrow. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Our bodies are reactive, and therefore we need to be too. Don’t forget though, that some ‘injury’ is elective and needed to promote healing of a larger issue. Take for example surgery; sometimes this is the best tool that we can use for long-term results. Even then, surgery is a big deal. Your body needs to heal and recover from surgery just as it would any other affliction.
Take care of inflammation first!
The first thing that we need to take into account with injuries is the inflammation; especially immediately after the incident or issue arises. Keeping the area iced as soon as possible after trauma is going to greatly reduce the inflammation. When you’re looking at a physical wound, often pain is caused not just from the injury itself but the after effects as well. A great example of this is if you get hit somewhere and a bruise forms, this area can be tender long after the initial impact.
Diet has an impact!
Keeping inflammation down can be helped by internal means as well. Changing your diet is one factor that a lot of people overlook; a diet that’s high in acidity will increase inflammation in the muscles and tissues, which can slow down daily productivity. Foods that increase inflammation can vary person to person. Once you find your ‘triggers’, keeping them out of your diet can cause a drastic difference. Some common foods that cause these reactions: animal products, dairy, wheat, soy, corn, gluten, food dyes & food colourings, nightshades, certain spices, MSG, caffeine, and carbonated drinks to name just a few. On the opposite side there are plenty of foods that can either decrease inflammation or cause no change (which is equally important); foods like ginger, cilantro, beets, celery, leafy green veggies, pineapple, turmeric, blueberries and other antioxidant-rich foods. Try this recipe here. The advantage moving forward with your diet is you can adjust it as you go to suit your own needs and requirements. If you’re nursing a swollen ankle or have poor joints, consuming foods that will flare up inflammation is exactly what you want to avoid.
What then do foods that keep inflammation to a minimum have in common? Well, they’re plant-based, homegrown and loaded with enzymes and other nutrients. These enzymes are the key. They’re one of few things that we can supplement in our body along with food to reduce injuries.
PROTEASE, What does it do for inflammation?
A specific enzyme to highlight is protease (the protein-digesting enzyme). This enzyme does so much more than breaks down protein. Pathogens that circulate our body are comprised of protein, so these enzymes encourage a natural immune response. How does that translate into English? It means that these enzymes can help reduce your chances of infection both body wide and at the source of an injury. These enzymes also increase the number of white blood cells which are another immune response. Something else they do is reducing inflammation. Many people with pain associated with inflammation (such as achy joints) take enzymes (away from foods) and have noticed that the swelling is reduced.
Now knowing that inflammation is part of a problem, we should see if there are other factors that contribute. With injury sometimes the reason is obvious, say you cut your finger while preparing a meal; not all are so easy to discern. Just like before when looking at athletes and the results they get with low inflammation foods, it’s best to find those who are constantly working with the body.
Many physical injuries are caused by people overexerting themselves
If professional athletes who rely on their bodies daily can notice a difference, this can surely create a difference in the average person as well. Comparatively, for information on what the best gas or oil is for a sporty car, you’d ask a mechanic or a professional driver (someone intimately familiar with car engines and performance). Using the same theory when seeking details on how to maximize our bodies response is a good idea, we should be looking to those who have the knowledge to boost performance. Whether that be through food, technology, teaching or therapies. If those ‘in the know’ are noticing the impact of these foods; it means all of us should take heed.
Take it easy on your body!
Sometimes we don’t ask for opinions because we’re scared of what these therapists will say. No one likes to hear that their injury is that severe or will take effort and time to heal. No one wants to be told by someone that your injury should take so many weeks to heal; and if you are informed your body needs time to rest and recover the last thing you should do is go out and run a marathon (or even half that). It’s very easy to re-injure yourself by overtaxing. Truthfully many physical injuries are caused by people overexerting themselves and not knowing their own body’s limits.
What type of injury are you dealing with???
Grouping injuries into two subgroups can help. On one side you could put all of those internal injuries that still impact the physical body (broken bone, arthritis, pulled a muscle). The opposite would be ones that are external and visible (cuts, some sprains, bruising/hematoma). From this, you can figure out which sub-group your particular ailment falls, once you know that, finding a therapist that will help (if needed), can be a huge advantage moving forward.
If you have an internal injury that says muscle related, then you can guess that a physiotherapist or massage therapist can help you. They will be able to help smooth out, relax and stretch out where needed. Plus, if you find out its muscle related then you can also find out which foods and supplements you can focus on (Magnesium). When working with the aids they can also suggest at home things you can try. As well, a great therapist will be able to guide you the right way if you’re on the right track. Sometimes muscle problems need a different approach (like Chiropractic). When bones are out of place it helps to use both muscle and bone interventions. If you only treat the chiropractic needs, then the muscles that have been slowly accustomed to being out of place can then push the bones (which you just fixed) back into a wrong position. So, it is very important to look at these injuries as a whole and make sure that you treat every aspect of it with the care required to correct the issue.
Find out which foods and supplements you can focus on to remove inflammation.
Those hurts that are visible, are the easiest to see (literally) and thus the hardest to ignore. In the perfect world, they’re all minor bumps and bruises that only need small care and time to heal on their own. We don’t live in a perfect world, accidents happen and so do injuries. When you have an external injury it’s important not to ‘overlook’ what you can see and assume that it’s minor. Some swelling of an ankle may have the simple appearance of just a minor bump, but some sprains can be very severe and cause problems for weeks or months after the original injury. Especially if they’re not treated properly, there’s a chance they can heal incorrectly (similar to a broken bone that won’t heal if not ‘set’). Not all pain can be relieved on its own, some need outside help/manipulation to go back to working condition. The key is to know when you require help, and when to ask for it. All too often we suffer in pain and discomfort because that’s easier than admitting we need assistance. Or worse, we make excuses as to why we shouldn’t get the help that would benefit us.
Find a great therapist!
When you have a physical issue, finding a great therapist who can aid you can be invaluable to the betterment of your health and lifestyle. If you’re considering using a massage therapist, chiropractor, physiotherapist all of these qualified practitioners can treat you and must reach certain criteria in order to legally touch your skin and treat you with skin to skin contact/manipulation, those who. Beyond that, there are a variety of doctors and other practitioners who can give invaluable insight as to whom to get treated by or home-based treatments that will be beneficial. It’s never a bad idea to ask or seek help when you’re unsure, even more so when it comes to your health and your body.
Don’t let injuries go unchecked!
If we wouldn’t let kidney, liver or digestive problems continue unchecked and without seeking answers this same tenacity has to happen too with physical ailments. Far too often we let slide that our foot hurts, or your wrist is sore, maybe that every time you go to the gym you pay for it with stiff/sore muscles for multiple days after. We have to stop allowing ourselves and our bodies to suffer needlessly.
If you have a shoulder problem and can’t lift your arm easily above your head or with reduced motion, sure you can get by…but why should you. When you can seek help and methods that will help bring back range of motion to where it’s supposed to be. An office worker may not need the full range of motion, sure, but what happens if they go home and their child, partner or friends want to play basketball. Suddenly you’re losing out because you’re not investing in your own well-being. What if this isn’t a social thing, what if you are walking and fall somewhere and need to pull yourself out of a hole (hypothetical of course), but, if this did happen, now you’re stuck-literally.
Take Control! You’re worth it!
Each of us needs to take control of our bodies and our health, both the physical outside as well as the all-important inside; we deserve to have the best health and wellness possible. You don’t know when you’ll need your body, and it’s the only one you’ll ever have. We need to take the same care with our outward physical health, in the same way, we would if it were internal (like Diabetes, Cancer, fertility issues, headaches, digestive upset and much more). Allow yourself to treat the outside with equal importance we give our insides. We need to be comfortable with our bodies as they are and as they should be. Not everyone has the perfect body or ideal situations. The goal is to create the best bodies we can with what we have! There is NO reason you should allow yourself to be less than 100 percent.
If you’re injured, treat yourself like you’re worth it, because you are!