Healing Factor: How to Recover Faster from Injury

Let’s put it bluntly: injuries suck. Whether you are a sports player hampered by an injured knee or a regular person nursing a wound from a kitchen knife, the experience is the same—annoyed, discomfort, and pain. The good news is that injuries heal. The bad news is they don’t always heal as fast as you’d like. 

However, there is no need to be disappointed; knowing what to do, when, and how to do it can make your injuries heal faster, and this article explores the means to do so. Read on.

What Affects Healing Rate? 

Several factors can affect the rate at which you recover from injury. Some are easier to control than others. 

  • Type of Injury

Some injuries are more severe than others and naturally take longer to heal. There are three main ways of classifying injury: open or closed, clean or contaminated, and acute or chronic

Open wounds are the types that involve exposure of damaged tissue to the environment, unlike closed ones with no such exposure. The former heal harder and longer. 

Clean wounds have not been contaminated by any foreign matter or organisms, as opposed to contaminated ones, which may fester and begin to rot. The latter are usually open wounds, and they also heal longer.

Acute wounds heal over more predictable time frames and without complications; if your injury has complications and doesn’t seem to be healing on schedule, it’s a chronic one. 

  • Diet and Nutrition

What you eat and how often you eat also affect your healing rate. Suppose you happen to be on a diet when you get injured; research indicates that it can either negatively or positively affect healing. 

Diets such as the 18/6 intermittent fasting plan are known to have great injury rehabilitation effects. However, this isn’t necessarily the case for all types of injury, and it’s usually best to ask your doctor how a diet plan you’re on can affect your healing.

Additionally, the presence or availability of some nutrients can make or mar your healing process. For example, if your diet is deficient in zinc or vitamins A and C, tissue repair will be slow, and your injury will be more easily contaminated. All of these mean longer healing times. 

  • Lifestyle

Your lifestyle choices often determine how fast you heal. For example, consider alcoholism. While having the occasional vodka or beer may not hurt much, regular consumption can deplete your body’s store of essential minerals and vitamins, including those relevant to tissue repair. Moreover, alcohol also has pain-numbing effects, which may make you less precautious. 

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Smoking also has adverse effects on an injured body; anyone who has had surgery before might recall post-operation guidelines suggesting the avoidance of cigars, vapes, and other related products. Smoking constricts the blood vessels and restricts oxygen transmission, impairing healing. 

  • Daily Activities

Your healing may slow down depending on how you exert your body daily. For example, heavy weight lifting and menial work can strain injured muscles and undo some of the healing already taking place. Injuries that may already be clotting up can burst open again under significant bodily exertion, thus retarding healing.  

  • Existing Injuries

One inconvenient thing about being injured is that existing injuries tend to make new ones more likely. This tendency is most aptly illustrated in Second Impact Syndrome, which is the tendency for people who suffer a concussion to suffer another not long after. Since a concussion makes you dizzy, exhausted, or even nauseous, any combination of these effects puts you at risk of falling and having another concussion. 

How to Speed Up Your Recovery from Injury

The body naturally repairs wounded tissue, and watching it do that is often amazing. However, the natural process may be faster, allowing you to return to operating at max capacity. There are a few ways to boost your healing rate safely; some can even be used while you’re already injured. 

  • Drink Water

Drinking lots of water is a simple yet effective health practice offering many net positive benefits, including boosting your injury recovery rate. It helps you stay hydrated, thinning your blood. This makes it easier and quicker for your body to transport oxygen and nutrients where needed and ship waste products right out of your body. 

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Good hydration will also reduce inflammation and swelling that tends to happen after an injury. You should also avoid caffeinated drinks while upping your water intake, as these actually hamper swelling reduction. 

  • Rest

This is another simple yet effective way to boost your body’s injury recovery rate. If you are an athlete, it may feel binding or uncomfortable to stop your routine for a few days due to injury. However, rest is known to improve the rebuilding of muscles and tissue and speed up the rate of injury recovery. 

A bit of caveat, though: too much rest may reduce the recovery rate—poorer prognosis, longer time to full recovery, and even increased rehabilitation costs are all in the package. So, there is some balancing act to pull off there. 

  • Eat Healthy

It should go without saying that eating healthy is vital, especially after you have been injured. On average, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and drinking lots of water helps to speed up the healing process.

In addition to the vitamins and minerals from these, you also need loads of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Conversely, slower healing and inflammations can result from a diet dominated by processed foods, caffeinated drinks, and fries on fries. 

  • Mind It

Did you know that mental recovery is also a pivotal part of injury recovery? Physical injuries can sometimes impact you mentally, primarily when they impair your ability to keep undertaking some important tasks. You may find yourself isolated, frustrated, angry, or depressed after a bad injury. What is more? Health research shows that a poor mental state can also slow down your recovery. 

So, what do you do when injured and feeling down? Seek emotional support from your family, close friends, or your therapist. You may also try focusing on new goals to keep your mind sharp and positive. 

Closing Thoughts

Injuries can be very damaging, both physically and mentally. Depending on their seriousness, they can put your life or some important activities in stasis. Thankfully, not only does the healing process happen naturally, but it can also be sped up by choosing the proper lifestyle and practices. 

Finally, one thing you can also add to the mix: medication. Your doctor or injury therapist may recommend medication to expedite your recovery, depending on the severity of the injury. It is always safer to take such meds only upon prescription from a qualified health professional. 

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