Supercharging recovery rates after an accident

Being involved in an accident can take its toll on an individual’s wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. Broken bones and confinement to a hospital bed wears away at confidence and self esteem, which can lead you down into a spiral of depression. Poor emotional health can prolong recovery times. Consequently, when going through rehabilitation and physiotherapy it is important to include cognitive therapy and restrengthening to give yourself the best chance of a swifter healing.

When you’re in the care of your doctors, they will ensure that you have a structured physical therapy plan to follow to help you progressively improve. However, once you have been discharged and return home, you are pretty much left to your own devices. You may have instructions to follow certain routines, but without additional support you may risk falling into lethargy and derailing your own recovery.

The following suggestions should help someone who is recovering from an accident work on their emotional wellbeing, with the aim of supporting the work you do on your physical recovery and wellbeing. Naturally make sure that you follow your doctor’s advice and seek medical advice and confirmation if you are unsure of anything.

Build movement and exercise into your daily routine

It would be all too easy to follow your physio’s instructions to the letter, then use your injuries as an excuse not to do anything extra, returning home to sit out the period of time between sessions. 

This could be highly detrimental to your progress, eroding your self confidence and sense of purpose. It is essential to get out and about at least once a day. If you have limited mobility, then there are services that hire out mobility scooters on short term leases to give you more accessibility. At this stage, it is not so much the additional exercise you get, but facing the challenge of getting out and about, regaining a sense of independence, and not allowing yourself to slip into a sedentary lifestyle is crucial.

It also encourages you to get out and meet up with other people. Often isolation is a hidden enemy during the rehabilitation process. The more you can reinsert yourself into everyday life, the quicker you’ll start to strengthen your confidence.

Watch what you are eating

Your nutrition can have a significant impact on overall recovery rates. Highly processed, sugar laden foods have been proven to cause inflammation in the body. When you have inflammation, recovery slows down as the body is now fighting wars on two fronts – the injuries you sustained in the accident and the inflammation.

However, a balanced and nutritious diet consisting of a good balance of proteins, vitamins and minerals will support healthy muscle repair and overall health improvements. 

  • Protein will help to repair tissue and build muscle
  • Whole grains are known to play a role on renewing skin cells and increasing collagen production, which is why they are often included on post accident nutrition lists
  • As well as strengthening your immunity, Vitamin C boosts collagen stores in your body.
  • Iron will provide oxygen to the site of the injury promoting healing.
  • Fatty fish, avocados, berries, green leafy vegetable are all common anti-inflammatory foods which will help with the overall recovery process.

It is worth adding that as well the obvious benefits to your physical health, nutrition plays a significant role in mental health. Studies indicate how poor nutrition can contribute towards a descent into depression, and depression itself is further cited the cause in a delay in physical recovery.

Consequently committing to healthier eating habits as a proactive component of your recovery plan will contribute towards a faster, and healthier, convalescence. 

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