After being injured, your healing depends on how well you take care of yourself. While some issues will resolve on their own, recovering from an injury is easier when you take an active role in the process. For instance, if you slip and fall, your injuries might be severe enough to warrant taking time off work and finding an attorney. Time off will give you time to rest and working with a lawyer will help you cover medical bills.
Instead of trying to push through and live a normal life, use the following tips to create the foundation for an optimal recovery.
- Take supplements that support healing
Pain killers are useful, but only temporary, and masking the pain doesn’t contribute to healing. Look into nutrient supplements that have been shown to aid in the healing process:
- Omega-3s. Commonly sourced from fish and algae, omega-3s are the precursor to prostaglandin E3, which is an anti-inflammatory compound. More specifically, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are two omega-3s that naturally reduce inflammation. When you ingest omega-3s, your body will convert it into E3 when it feels it is appropriate.
- Curcumin. Known as cumin and extracted from turmeric root, curcumin provides natural pain relief. You can find it in capsules or tinctures or just sprinkle it on your meals.
- Arnica. Arnica montana can be used internally or topically to ease sore muscles and pain from injury. It may not be enough for a high pain level, but if you prefer natural substances, it’s worth trying. Just don’t apply it to open wounds.
Other beneficial nutrients include vitamin C and D, and these are ideally sourced from whole foods.
If you’re the type of person who likes to constantly be on the move, you might resist your doctor’s suggestion to stay in bed or take a month off work to heal. Don’t ignore their advice because resting is one of the most important aspects of healing.
When you don’t slow down, your body doesn’t have a chance to fully recover. You might do more damage and extend the time of your healing.
- Don’t try to prevent all inflammation
Traditionally, inflammation has been perceived as something negative that needs to be reduced and eliminated right from the start, but that’s counterproductive to healing. Inflammation is actually part of the healing process and it protects a given problem from spreading to other areas of the body. If you stop this process, you prolong your healing.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t take anti-inflammatory medication at all. Sometimes, the pain is too much to handle. However, sports injury doctors say it’s better to heal as much as possible first because it will speed up your recovery and improve your chances of fully healing.
- Do things that make you happy
Your happiness is directly connected to the healing process. People with a happy demeanor tend to heal better and more completely than others who allow themselves to feel depressed or angry.
While you’re recovering, find things that make you happy. This can include reading your favorite books, watching the shows you love, playing games, or spending more time with your kids and pets. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it makes you feel good.
Studies have linked happiness to many positive health benefits, including:
- A better immune system
- A larger capacity to deflect stress
- Stronger heart health
- Faster recovery from surgery and illness
Some researchers believe that a person with a positive demeanor, who feels genuinely happy, is more likely to heal faster because they’re more willing to do what’s needed. Other people believe that being happy has a direct impact on the physical body’s wellbeing. Either way, the connection between healing and happiness is strong.
- Seek medical care
Healing on your own from an injury is admirable, but don’t forget to seek help from a medical professional. Even if all you do is get an x-ray to make sure nothing is broken, make sure you know what’s going on with your body. Don’t leave anything to chance or the unknown.
Allow yourself time to heal
Most importantly, give yourself ample time to recover from your injury. Don’t set an arbitrary goal for a specific day or time period where you plan to be done healing. If you have plans you don’t want to miss out on, be prepared to let them go. You’ll recover more fully when you let your body decide when it’s ready to go back to normal, everyday life.