Everything was going so well. Your fitness regimen was back on track and you were feeling great. Then bam! You somehow injured yourself. You’re eager to heal up, so what can you do to help speed up the process?
If your injury doesn’t require immediate medical attention, then the tips below may help. Of course, if you are unsure, it’s better to see your doctor for confirmation.
Apply ice immediately. Start by applying ice for ten minutes, then take ten minutes off, and then ice again for ten minutes.
(Make sure to keep something between the ice and skin to prevent skin damage. A thin moist towel would be ideal. If you don’t have one of those, a t-shirt could work too).
Ice your injury 3 times a day for the first 72 hours (morning, noon, and night). Rest up and ice, ice, baby because it will help reduce swelling.
Resting is one of those difficult things to do because sometimes, even when you know you need it, you’re just itching to get back into action. Don’t be stubborn and trick yourself into thinking you don’t need the time off. Not having adequate rest and recovery time will only guarantee that your injury will worsen. Do yourself a favor and give yourself a break. You need the proper rest to assist in recovery.
Depending on how long you need to recover, you may start to feel frustrated and that’s perfectly normal. However, constantly sulking and allowing a dark cloud to loom above your head won’t make things any better.
Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy every single moment of the day. It means that you’re not allowing your negative thoughts to overcome you. As long as you maintain more positive thoughts than negative, then your recovery will thrive. If you allow your negative thoughts to outnumber the positive thoughts, you may become less motivated. A lack of motivation results in lack of training and rehab. Lack of training and rehab can lead to a delayed recovery.
Surround yourself with people who understand you’re injured and push you to stay positive. It is also important to continue doing things that you were before. Don’t retreat and become a hermit because you’re feeling down on yourself. Isolation and self-pity aren’t a good combo. Focus on things you CAN do and do them.
Rehabbing your injury is an most important part of recovery. If you don’t rehab an injury properly, then it may not heal correctly and it could be difficult to regain full mobility. There are a plethora of professionals and facilities that can assist you depending on the severity of your injury. Proper rehab can make a huge difference in how quickly you recover.
For most soft-tissue injuries, massage is the best therapy. It helps improve blood flow, which promotes healing. Also, it will help reduce scar-tissue build-up. Too much scar tissue can make muscles stiff, weaker and in some cases, can require scar tissue removal surgery. A great therapist will be able to give you a professional assessment to gauge a good time to return to normal activities.
Massage isn’t just good for current injuries, but past ones as well. You remember what I said about the scar tissue? It can help with regaining feeling in the area and decrease numbness, tingling, and soreness. Massage therapy can also increase range of movement and your scar’s flexibility. This makes movements feel less restrictive and “tight”.
Injuries rarely resolve on their own. Especially if you continue doing too much before it’s healed. Working through the pain is a recipe for chronic injury. The sooner you treat it, the more likely you can expect a quicker return to pain-free activity.
If you’re in the South Bay and would like a massage, book a session with me. My office is located in Hermosa Beach and is conveniently located near Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Torrance. Look forward to helping you!