Why You Aren’t Recovering From Your Injury Fast Enough

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When I was a younger man, I was sledding down a ridiculously steep hill on my runner toboggan with my little nephew on my back.  With a ‘VROOM VROOM’ we were off!  Barreling down the hill on this runner sled felt like atmospheric reentry, and both of us imagined flames shooting out behind us –when suddenly… BAM!  We slammed into a tree, my nephew toppled down the hill still laughing (and unharmed), the sled’s front had splintered, and what happens when I stop smoking from my hot reentry and explosive emergency landing?  The worst broken arm I’d ever seen is what happened!

I couldn’t believe how bad it was.  My arm felt rather contorted and the pain was excruciating.  Nonetheless, it wasn’t long before I was coming out of the ER with a brand new cast on my arm.  The healing process begins.

I thought, “What now?”

 

Take It Easy

Probably the biggest no-brainer, when it comes to healing from injury, is that we need to stay off the injury and give it rest.  Any time our bodies go through some kind of attack, traumatic event, strain, or injury, rest is always the key.  This is the case for 2 reasons.

First, rest allows your own body’s healing mechanisms to move into action and keep repairing processes sustained.  When the body is not at rest, then it must dedicate resources and energy into required tasks, which inevitably slows healing.  In the same way that we need to rest when we are sick –we also need to rest when we’ve sustained injury, so that the body can flood energy and resources towards the affected area.

The second reason is because it is important to keep stresses away from the affected area.  Unlike sickness, when the whole body is affected, a specific injury’s healing will be hindered because even the smallest stresses will undo progress.  It’s sort of like ripping off a scab prematurely.

 

Watch Your Diet

One of the most overlooked aspects to healing from injuries is our diet.  According to SFGate.com, not only is keeping a healthy, nutrition-packed diet important to sustain the repair of an injury –but it can even speed it along:

“A number of nutrients, most notably calcium, can help speed the process of healing broken or damaged bones. However, one of the most important nutritional moves you can make is preventive in nature…”

The article continues, saying that bone-nutrient-rich diets are essential, especially in the event that the individual sustained a fracture.

“…Ensure the health and integrity of your bones by eating a diet rich in the nutrients that bones need to stay strong. That, coupled with bone-healthy nutrition after an injury, can significantly speed the healing process.”

According to the article, perhaps the most important bone nutrient for repairing a fracture is calcium.  Calcium is perhaps the most obvious building block of our bones, which means that the body will need this to conduct major repairs.  Also, plenty of sunlight (vitamin D), vitamin K, and other nutrients will help keep the process moving.

The key is to give your body the tools, materials, and allocation of energy it needs to continue the long task of healing a part of your body.

 

Stop Smoking

It is perhaps the most overlooked aspect of healing that many do not often realize.  In addition to being able to breathe, and allowing your pearly-whites to really shine, there are quite a few positive effects to what happens when I quit smoking… especially in terms of healing skin and bone.

According to ScienceDaily.com, the effects of smoking cessation while healing are almost too dramatic to be overlooked.  A study that was published in 2010 stated,

“Our results indicate that a smoking cessation intervention program during the first six weeks after acute fracture surgery decreases the risk of postoperative complications by nearly half,” said Hans Nåsell, MD, senior surgical consultant, Karolinska Institutet, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden.”

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Essentially, if you want a smooth recovery from your injuries –then smoking isn’t going to do you any favors.  There could be many reasons that this is the case, but whatever it is, the difference decreased post-op complications by almost 50%. Those are fairly obvious findings.

One contributing factor to this fact may have something to do with the general state of anxiety that smoking can cause, because of constant withdrawal symptoms.  Essentially, smoking does not allow the body to rest, hindering the healing process.  In fact, nicotine is a stimulant; meaning that you’re constantly pumping stress-causing substances into your system, and you’re body is not able to rest as a result.  Many ex-smokers have said that quitting has caused reduced anxiety and better sleep.

However, one great way to understand how smoking can affect bones is to see what affects smoking has on osteoporosis patients.  The results are enlightening, according to WebMD:

“Smoking triggers other bone-damaging changes such as increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which leads to bone breakdown, says Kaur. “Research also suggests that smoking impedes the hormone calcitonin, which helps build bones – so that hormone can’t do its job.”

The article says that the body cannot deliver the calcitonin (calcium) it needs in order to repair bone damage and loss.  With this being the case for relatively small calcium demands from post-menopausal patients, imagine how true this finding is for those who are attempting to heal from broken bones.

Essentially, smoking makes your body work much harder to heal a broken bone and even repair damaged skin.  If you’re trying to recover from an injury –then you may want to stash the cigarettes, pick up a good book, and drink a tall glass of milk.  Actually, this might just be your perfect reason to quit smoking altogether… there’s a silver lining in any cloud.

 

Heal Faster

If anything, healing takes a fair amount of discipline.  You might get antsy, anxious, and bored.  You might want to light up or eat nothing but comforting junk food –but stay strong.  The better you treat your body right now, while you’re healing, the sooner you can get back to being your old self again.

Kerry Gaynor

Kerry’s purpose and overarching objective in developing his Method since he began thirty years ago has always been the same: to help save lives. Addictions or ailments, whether it is smoking cigarettes or over eating, can feel a lot like being a prisoner or a slave to your addiction. Kerry has experienced so much fulfillment from helping people unchain themselves from their addictions that it is the only thing he has ever cared to do since his very first client.

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