Thursday, May 10, 2018

4 Common Misconceptions About Injuries and Recovery

Think you know everything you need to recover from your injury? Were you recently injured but perhaps are not healing as fast as you would like? Did you know that some well-established ideas about injuries and recovery could be misleading? Here are some common misconceptions that could be delaying your healing process.

Misconception No. 1: If there's no pain, there's no injury.

Whether you were sidelined by a sports injury or hit by a drunk motorcycle driver, any case of injury requires medical attention. But often, if the pain from an injury is not enough to knock us off our feet for good, we brush it off for fear of hospital bills. Or perhaps you experienced some initial pain, but it subsided after a while? Any event where your body is subjected to trauma requires a visit to the doctor.

In most cases, pain is the body's response to injury. It is the body's alarm system telling you that damage has been inflicted and that you must take time to heal. But in certain cases, this response system might not be activated. Nerves in an area that received the damage might not be sending pain signals to the brain as they should. Or if the body is in too much pain, the nervous system may shut down.

Injuries that are not seen to right away can become more complex to treat. And by the time your pain response kicks in, your body might be in worse condition than if you had caught it right away.

After an accident or an injury, regardless of your pain level, always seek medical attention. Doing so will make sure injuries are diagnosed and treatment starts as soon as possible.

Misconception No 2.: Rest 24/7 after an injury.

This misconception is partly based on fact. Your body heals best during sleep hours. Damage done to your body is repaired during sleep, says Michael Twery, director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research. Prioritizing a good night of sleep is essential. But sleep alone is not enough for total tissue recovery. Part of recovery involves movement.

Naturally, the advice your doctor gives for your case would take preference. But as soon as the doctor gives you the green light, start moving once again. If you are not sure what exercises are safe for someone with your injury type, be sure to ask.

Medical experts frequently state that moving about after surgery is vital for a speedy recovery. Being immobile comes with its own set of problems, such as blood clots, weakening of muscles, sluggish gut, etc.

Misconception No 3.: Working through the pain is OK.

"Pain is all in the mind." "Work through the pain." "No pain, no gain." These and other workout mottos become so widespread that often they are taken for truths that should be applied to all sources of pain.

Sometimes pain can be misleading. Phantom pain experiences, where nothing is actually wrong with one's body, can lead people to ignore pain or just "fight through it."

But for the most part, pain is your body's way of telling you to "get help." After an injury, it is particularly important to know the balance between enduring a little discomfort for the sake of staying mobile. And discerning that from when pushing through your pain could lead to secondary effects and harmful pain.

Misconception No 4.: It's better to forgo pain meds so you don't develop an addiction.

Not taking pain medication, while sounding noble, could actually hinder your recovery. When the body is in constant pain, it can be difficult for you to perform other activities that are needful for recovery. For example, pain could keep you up at night and prevent you from sleeping. As discussed earlier, sleep is when your body does a large part of its repairs. Not being able to get in quality sleep due to pain can set your healing back considerably.

Unmanaged pain could also prevent you from undergoing rehabilitating movements and exercises. Pain can limit your range of motion so that it causes you to rely on muscles that are not developed for that strain. This, in turn, can result in other damaging secondary effects.

If you are concerned about developing a reliance on pain meds, tell your doctor about your worry. And then only take as much as prescribed. If there is any of your prescription left after the pain has abated, be sure to throw it away.

This is a guest blog entry.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome.