Why Is My Injury Not Getting Better?
Nothing is worse than having an injury that seems to be taking a long time to heal, especially if you feel like you are doing everything right! Have an open conversation with your physical therapist about your prognosis and brainstorm together reasons why your healing time may be delayed. Below I have outlined just a few questions to ask yourself if you feel like your injury is taking a really long time to heal.
- Are you doing your homework? Are you doing your exercises? You knew this one was coming– I’m a PT after all. A lot of people don’t want to put in the work to make themselves better, and this can lead to nagging injuries. If you take your rehab seriously off the bat and follow your physical therapist’s instructions, this can help tremendously. It’s really the most important part of any treatment plan, but the one people most often take for granted. That ultrasound you get in PT isn’t healing you–but the exercises given to you definitely will. Exercise is probably one of the only forms of treatment that is scientifically backed by research time and time again, and there is a reason for that it works! So do your homework!
(Side note: Sometimes when people start feeling better, they stop doing their exercises all together. But it’s important to remember these exercises and incorporate them as part of your maintenance routine.)
2. Do you smoke? If so, better drop that habit. Along with a slew of other reasons smoking is bad for you, it can also delay healing an injury. If your blood is not able to travel oxygen to your injury effectively, this can delay healing.
3. Are you getting enough sleep? Back to the sleep conundrum. Your body does a lot of healing while you sleep, so if you are not logging in 7 or 8 hours a night, you could be doing your body a huge injustice.
4. Are you stressed? Having a lot of psychological stress can definitely impact your body’s ability to perform a plethora of functions, one of which is healing. Plus stress can make your pain feel worse than it is. Those feelings of being stressed and depressed over a nagging injury can also play a role on healing. Set yourself up for success and try to focus on your mental health and your physical health could improve as well.
5. Are you nourishing your body with the proper foods? Are you eating processed refined foods or whole foods with good quality nutrients? Eating protein helps your body repair its muscles, tendons, and bones. Bone broth is one great example of a nutrient dense food that can help support healing. For an easy bone broth recipe, see below.
When trying to heal your body, make sure to remember that your body works as a whole, but it is made up of many parts. This incorporates everything from your heart, brain, mind, lungs, and GI tract. Your body is a complex machine and with so many moving parts, everything has to work together. This is why I think it is so important to address full body healing and wellness. If one thing is off, there could be a chain reaction. Help your body out and set yourself up for proper healing!
Let me know if you have any questions? 🙂