Why Should You Be Patient When Dealing with Injury Rehabilitation?
Do you find being patient a challenge? Yeah, me too. In life, we are told that we need to be patient. However, this isn’t always easy, especially if you are dealing with an injury.
One example of this is my client who has a condition called Frozen Shoulder. They have suffered from this for a long time, which causes them to feel fed up and depressed. So being patient with their recovery time isn’t easy for them. However, patience is necessary when you’re dealing with an injury.
Not convinced yet?
Okay, let’s explore further.Different Injuries That Can Take Time to Heal.
As mentioned above, there are many medical conditions and injuries that can take a long time to recover from. Let’s look at my Frozen Shoulder client. They are recovering from a cervical replacement of two vertebrae due to degenerations. My client has been in a neck collar for a long time after the surgery. Due to the neck collar, their neck and shoulder muscles have been immobilised for a few months, which caused the frozen shoulder. And even after physio, they experienced little improvement. So when we discussed the two to three years recovery time, they were disheartened.
There are many other conditions and injuries that will take a long time for you to recover from, for example:
RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)
This Physioroom.com website lists all the types of injuries you can have and how long they can take to heal.
Why Can Injuries Take a Long Time to Heal?
For you to understand exactly why injury rehabilitation can take time, I will briefly explain the three phases of repair following injury.
The three phases are inflammatory, regeneration, and remodelling.
The inflammatory phase happens after an injury and can last three to five days – this is where the injury is painful, warm, swollen, and tender. During this phase the injury is at its most delicate and any force applied to this area during this time will result in further damage. Therefore, the only focus during this stage is to control swelling and reduce pain.
The regeneration phase is where new collagen fibres are formed. The links between each fibre are weak, so the new tissue is fragile and easy to damage with aggressive activity. So any treatment must be light and gentle. This phase lasts from two days to eight weeks.
The remodelling phase is when the tissues continue to remodel, strengthen, and heal and can take months and even years before it ends. During this stage, it is important to do some strength training. This training will stimulate tissue growth and improve function. However, the new tissue is still delicate, and care should be taken when working on the injured area.
As you can see, our bodies (unlike Superman’s) need time to heal and repair, so it’s important that you take your time with your injury rehabilitation.
Why Should You Be Patient with Your Injury?
If you’re suffering from an injury or medical condition you need to be patient with your recovery time. The quicker we accept the length of our recovery, then the better we can see and plan your recovery. There are some things we can do to help fix your injuries, but nature will take its own time.
And if you try to rush your recovery time, then you can cause further damage. For example, your healing could take longer, you could cause more damage, or you could increase the scar tissue.
How Can You Be More Patient with Your Injury Rehabilitation?
Here are some tips on how you can be patient with your injury recovery:
Understand your injury or condition – to be able to accept it, you need to understand your injury or medical condition. So spend time researching your injury or condition, and listen to what the doctor tells you. All this helps you to know as much about your injury as you can. And with that knowledge, you’ll be able to know what to expect when it comes to recovery times.
Accept the plan and recovery time – if you are given a plan by your doctor or massage therapist, then it’s important that you follow the plan. You will also need to understand that it will take time before you see any real improvements.
Look for additional help – there are many other types of treatment that you can use to help your recovery. For example, you have a massage, physio, talking therapy (this will help you to release your frustration, not physically, of course), and acupuncture. It’ll all help; however, make sure you check with your doctors before trying out new treatments.
Focus on success and not failure – it’s easy to allow negative thoughts to consume your mind, but if you force yourself to focus on any success you have with your recovery, then it will be more helpful than focusing on the negative. And when you do achieve something, you need to celebrate it. So if you do take one step forward, then you should reward yourself with something nice like a slice of cake (yummy).
Avoid becoming overloaded – don’t try to do too much. You need to take your time and focus on small steps.
Ask for help – you don’t need to do this on your own. There will be times when you will feel fed up, frustrated and depressed, and it’s at these times when you will need to lean on your family and friends.
Being patient isn’t easy when you are dealing with an injury. It can be frustrating having to wait to recover from your injuries. But no matter how quickly you want your body to heal, you need to understand that healing takes time. Your body needs time to heal. It also needs for you to be good to yourself physically as well as mentally. So if you’re recovering from an injury, then know that you will get better, all you need is time.