Getting Back to Normal After a Serious Injury

Unfortunately, injuries are a part of life. Our bodies aren’t perfect. They certainly aren’t infallible. We get injured pushing ourselves too hard in the gym or playing team sports. You might even get hurt tripping up a pavement slab or by slipping on a wet day walking around the park. Some injuries are sustained during a serious accident, perhaps on the roads or at work. You might even find yourself struggling with a severe back injury after picking up your child or doing work in your garden. Even the fittest and healthiest of people that always warm up before working out and look after their bodies the best that they can, can’t avoid all injuries and most of us sustain at least a minor injury at some point in our lifetimes.

Minor injuries tend to be easy to cope with. You might need to take some time away from your usual exercise routines and even take a few days off work. The doctor might recommend some light physio, but usually, a mild injury won’t have a massive impact on your day to day life. You might need help managing your pain, but as long as you get the appropriate rest, you should be able to go about your day to day tasks without too many changes.

But, what about when your injury is more serious? When it’s so bad that you need extensive recovery time. You might not be able to go to work, and you might struggle to move at all, let alone exercise. When this happens, and your life is affected in every way, it can be hard to get back to normal even when your injury does start to feel better. Here are some tips to help you.



Get Help and Advice

If you have suffered a severe injury and someone else was at fault, you might be able to get aid from injury lawyers who can handle traumatic brain injuries, which could be a massive help if your injury means that you need to take some time off work and your income suffers. But, that’s certainly not the only kind of help that is available to you.

Don’t try to get back to work or exercise without speaking to your doctor. If you’ve been having physiotherapy to help your recovery, you need to talk to your therapist about getting back to normal life. Ask about exercises that you can do at home, and get plenty of advice about how far to push yourself and which steps to take first. Never try to rush back to normal without first obtaining advice from the experts.



Take it Slowly

Getting back to exercise is great for your body. It will give your circulation a boost, which can speed up your recovery. But, it will also help to strengthen your muscles and stop your joints from getting too stiff. When you can, moving is good for you.

But, don’t make the mistake of thinking that because your body has started to feel better, it will be able to get back to normal straight away. If you’ve been away from exercise for a long time, your fitness levels and muscle mass will have dropped, and it won’t be able to do the things that it used to. How severely you are impacted will depend on how long you’ve been out and the type of injury that you sustained.

Before your body is ready to get back to normal, you might want to use the time to try different exercises. If you can’t use your legs, spend time increasing the strength of your arms. Move as much as you can, whenever you can. But, don’t push yourself too hard, and rest as much as you need to. Then, when you are ready, start very, very slowly. Go for short walks, adding a little time each week. Go to your local gym and ask a trainer to help you build a fitness program to help you build strength and stamina gradually, instead of rushing yourself.

Get Lots of Rest

With a serious injury, you might be forced to take time off work as well as exercise. Returning to work, however, might seem much easier. If you’ve got a desk job, or are otherwise able to sit down for a lot of your day, you might not think that it will be difficult to go back. But it will. If you’ve been doing nothing but rest and recover for weeks, going back to work will be both physically and mentally exhausting. 

If possible, go back slowly, working just a few hours a day, or working from home as much as you can. Take regular breaks throughout the day and make sure you get plenty of sleep if you are tired.

Look After Yourself

When we’re injured, we focus on the injury. We find ways to build up strength and recover, but many of us neglect other elements of our health. While your body is fighting to recover, it needs more attention. You might find that your immune system needs a little help and that you are more tired as your body works harder to heal. Getting plenty of sleep is a fantastic start, but you should also drink lots of water, avoid too much alcohol, eat a healthy diet and also condor a vitamin supplement to give you an extra boost.

Be Prepared for Set-Backs

Unfortunately, recoveries rarely go exactly to plan. Many people find that after weeks of starting to feel better, their recovery halts or even starts to go backwards. This might be because you are pushing too hard or not getting enough rest. It’s often your body's way of telling you that it needs more time. Don’t worry. It doesn’t mean that you will get better. It just means that you need to listen to your body and give it more time.

Reward Yourself

Recovering from an injury is tough, and you might find that your mental health takes a knock, as well as your body. You might want to see a therapist, but either way, reward yourself for your hard work, whether or not it’s paying off as quickly as you’d like it to.

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